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Julia's Letter. 'Iris" “My dearest Parents--You have ever encouraged me to confide to you all my doubts and fears, my joys and sorrows, and I need not tell you that it has been my great happiness to know that not a thought passes through my heart which I would fear to disclose to you. You will perhaps be surprised by my now choosing to write instead of speaking to you, but to-day, for the first time, I have to tell you of opinions which I fear may differ from your's—and will you bear with your Julia whilst she gives you the reasons which oblige her to adopt them? I know, my beloved parents, that you love to provide pleasures for your child,', and I thank you earnestly and sincerely for the many, many ways in which you have constantly endeavored to secure her happiness. But oh! do not think it ungrateful if I cannot continue to enjoy them all. I have always loved society, but I am beginning to fear that this love has been a share to me, and that it has led me into scenes which a meek and lowly disciple of the blessed Jesus should never enter. I have often wondered how it was that, when at home, I have enjoyed so much less of the sweetness of my Saviour's love, and have been so far less watchful against temptation than amidst the busiest occupations of my schooldays. But I think I can now see the cause of this difference. Whilst in regular occupations there is something to collect the thoughts, there is nothing to prevent their being seriously occupied ; but in the many rounds of visits which you have so carefully provided for my recreation when at home, in this succession of ever-varying pleasure, too well according with the natural propensities of my own heart, there is much to draw it powerfully down to earth, and fix it there. I have asked myself this question- Can it, under any circumstances, be consistent, for one whose life is professedly hid with Christ in God, to seek her amusements in pursuits which prevent her daily and hourly intercourse with him?' and I hope you will allow me to answer this question, by refusing again to mix with those gay parties which have often afforded me great, but injurious pleasure.
"Perhaps you will smile, and say that I have been picturing to myself the dissipations of a ball-room, instead of the merriment of a Christmas party. But, my dear parents, if these lesser frivolities produce the same effect on my mind, is it not equally wrong to mingle in them? I am not speaking of all amusements.
There are many in which, provided they were not carried to excess, I could conscientiously engage with thorough zest and glee; and when they were over, I could lift up my heart to my Heavenly Father in fervent thankfulness that He had so tenderly cared for my every comfort, as to allow me such delightful refreshment, but would it not be a solemn mockery to thank Him thus. when I return, excited and worn out with the gay scenes of a crowded drawing-room, in which it would have been untimely to think or speak of Him-when I return utterly unfitted by mental excitement and bodily fatigue, for holding any converse with my God. I would not condemn others; there may be those, differ. ently constituted to myself, who can go through all this, uninjured. I only feel that I cannot ; and great as the sacrifice may be, and I feel that it will be very great, I think that it is my duty cheerfully to make it. Besides these personal considerations, another thought has occurred to me. We are commanded not to offend our brother, for whom Christ died. When the poorer Christians around us see us going late to scenes of festivity, in which they know that we shall meet with many of the decided enemies of the Cross—when they hear us returning after the hour of midnight to our homes, will they not feel that it is inconsistent with the command to do all to the glory of God, to come out from the world and be separate, and to touch not the unclean thing, or with the injunction to redeem the time, because the days are evil ? And will they not see the difference between such customs, and a cheerful and merry meeting of the young and gay for social enjoyment, where all is over before the weary hours of night have unfitted them for prayer? I think those who are uninfluenced by habit would quickly perceive the distinction, and I pray that I may be enabled in this, and in every case, to abstain from the very 'appearance of evil,
ni pa “And now, my ever kindest friends, I will not ask you to forgive this free expression of my opinions, for I know you would wish it, but if you think them wrong, may I beg that you will join. your prayers to mine, that we may all be instructed from above, and that having seen the right path, we may have strength to walk in it. I am, my dearest Parents, i to u V Your very dutifully attached, -, I.
Need it be said that Julia's parents felt no displeasure at this letter? They were surprised; but mature and prayerful deliberation soon convinced them, that in these things God often gives wisdom to babes; and it was not long before they became on this point, as on every other, the counsellors and advisers of their child.
Is there anything in this short history which our readers may apply to themselves ? and O! before they lay this paper aside, let them think of those solemn words—" To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
CONVERSATION ON JOB. “I INTEND,” said Mr. Pearson, to the Bible-class he was accustomed to instruct, “to give you a little information with respect to Job, of whose history you all know something. Let us then first enquire when and where he lived, and we will afterwards turn our attention to a few of the leading points of that fine argument in which he acts so prominent a part."
"If you please, sir,” said Charles Robinson, “was Job a real person?"
“Thank you, Charles,” returned Mr. Pearson; "I am glad you have asked that question, for some persons have doubted the existence of the patriarch, without any wish to question the inspiration of the book that bears his name; and certainly before we can tell satisfactorily when he lived, we must answer the enquiry whether he lived at all. Will you turn, Peters, to the 14th chapter of the Prophecies of Ezekiel, and read the 14th verse ?"
Peters. (reads) “Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.” Mr. P. Was Noah a real person? Several voices. Yes, sir. Mr. P. And Daniel ? Answer. Yes, sir. Mr. P. Then I think we have every reason to believe the same of Job. St. James seems also to speak of him as a real person; “Ye have heard,” he says, “of the patience of Job," (ch. v. 11.)
Roberts. Do you think, sir, that he lived after Daniel?
Mr. P. Certainly not, as we shall see presently; but what made you ask the question?
Roberts. Because, sir, he is mentioned last. Noah lived before Daniel, and his name comes first.
Mr. P. I am glad to find you think for yourself, Roberts, though in this instance you are mistaken.
Sharsford. Do any of the writers in the Bible, sir, tell us at what time Job lived, for if they don't, I wonder how we are to find it out?
Mr. P. We shall soon see. Evidence is of two kinds-external, or outward; and internal, or inward. Nobody told you that the form on which you are sitting was made of wood, but by looking at it, or at all events by trying it with a knife or any similar instrument, you would know it to be so. You would also know it to have been once, part of a tree, which you could easily imagine at a still earlier period had grown from a sapling, or even a seed; so that the form bears not only internal evidence of its being wood, but carries you back through all its history to its very origin. If you read a wise book, you take it for granted that its author was a wise man: if a foolish book, you readily guess that the writer was also foolish. Now we have no outward evidences of the time when the book of Job was written; but in reading the book itself, we find a great many inward proofs. I may just mention, my dear boys, that these proofs are principally of two kinds, which may be called negative and positive. A negative proof is when a writer says nothing about such things as seem fairly to belong to his argument. Suppose, for example, an Englishman to be giving an account of the cholera; if he said nothing about its having appeared in our own country, this would be a negative proof that he wrote before the period of its introduction here not many years ago. A positive proof is where an author states such circumstances with regard to his own time, as are well known to belong to a peculiar or wellascertained period in the history of the country he is treating of or, perhaps, of the world generally. We shall find proofs of both these kinds in the book of JobCan you tell me any negative proofs? Williams. I think, sir, I could mention a great many things that Job does not speak of.
Mr. P. (smiling) Very likely ; but are those things connected with his subject, or did they happen in such places, or under such circumstances, as make it likely he would have known of them? You should bear in mind both the subject and the object of this book; and if the facts you refer to, were unconnected with either of these, you ought not to expect any reference to them, or draw any such inferences as I have spoken of. The purpose of Job, like that of the psalmist, seems to have been to "sing of mercy and judgment;" to expatiate on God's dealings in providence; and therefore any particular and unusual visitation, whether of wrath or kindness, would be likely to find a place in his argument. For instance, when speaking of the punishment of the wicked, we may suppose that he would introduce some account of the awful destruction of the cities of the plain, if their overthrow had taken place when he wrote, especially as those cities stood upon the very borders of the land in which he lived.
Jones. What cities did you say, sir?
Mr. P. The cities of the plain— Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim. Turn to the 19th chapter of Genesis, and read from the 27th to the 29th verse.
Jones. (reads) “And Abraham gat up early in the morning, to the place where he stood before the Lord; and he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.”
Mr. P. You will find in the margins of your reference-bibles, the date 1898 B. C. inserted against this account, so that if Job lived earlier than this, he must have preceded Moses by many centuries. Another negative proof, and a very interesting one, arises out of a passage in the 31st chapter. Rogers, will you find it, and read from the 26th verse.
Rogers. (reads) “If I beheld the sun when it shone, or the moon walking in brightness, and my heart hath been secretly