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ANOTHER LITTLE BOY.
A father of my acquaintance relates the following:
"I placed my little boy, at eight months' old, upon my knees, took his rattle from him and laid it on the table directly before him, and within his reach. When he placed out his hand to take it, I drew back bis hand, and spoke sharply to him. He looked up in my face, halffrightened, half-grieved, gave a deep sigh, and again reached out his hand for the rattle. I spoke sternly again, and again drew back his hand, He burst into crying with grief and anger ; and after a violent struggle of ten minutes, ceased crying, and again reached after the rattle. I then let him take hold of it, but held his arm extended, continued to speak sternly, and snapped his fingers lightly with my pen, till he let go the rattle. He cried long and bitterly before he let it drop; and several times, at short intervals, took it up again. But I borc with inflexible though gentle authority upon him, till be perfectly understood my intent, and submitted ; and then, after a few moments diversion of his thoughts to quiet his sobbing, he turned, with the tear standing in his eye, and fell to patting and rubbing his hand on the table, without touching the rattle, though it lay all the time within his reach. After a few moments, I held the rattle before him. He directed in my face a fixed look of solemn inquiry, which I met with an inviting smile, still holding the toy before him, till he took it and turned to bis play. The next day I took him again upon my knee, and in a mild but firm tone, bade him lay it on the table. He looked deeply serious for a moment, sighed, and obeyed.
“My boy is now eight years old; and I do not remember to have seen him since that time shed a tear in any conflict of his feelings against his parents' will." Little boys do you do likewise.
IMMENSITY. A scientific writer says :-" To obtain some idea of the immensity of the Creator's works, let us look a moment through Lord Rosse's telescope, and we'll discover a star in the depths of space whose light is 20,000,000 ytars in
travelling to our earth, moving at the velocity of twelve millions of miles in the minute. And behold, God was there."
Few men have put their time upon earth to better use than John Wesley. A lady once said to him :
Supposing that you were to die at twelve o'clock tomorrow night, how would you spend the intervening time ?"
“How, madam ?" he replied ; "why, just as I intend to spend it now. I should preach this evening at Gloucester, and again to-morrow morning. After that, I should ride to Tewkesbury, preach in the afternoon, and meet the Societies in the evening. I should then repair to friend Martin's house, who expects to entertain me, converse and pray with the family as usual, retire to my room at ten o'clock, commend myself to my heavenly Father, lie down to rest, and wake up in glory."
Patience is a soul at rest,-a soul daily at rest in God. substance gone,
house plundered, Ziklag burned, all mourning, many murinuring, ready to stoning and killing of David,--and yet he makes up all in God, and is at rest; this is patience. Patience is Jacob sleeping beartily upon a stone ; a heart at rest in hardships. It is a poor widow cheerfully giving and obeying a prophet, though but a little meal in the barrel, and but a little oil in the cruse ; it is one going to eat her last provision and die, one quietly going up to take a view of Canaan, and die at the door, making death, life,-Christ, Canaan. It is one going to sacrifice an only son with this, “ God will provide." Patience can speak no worse divinity in the greatest strait. It is one breathing out a soul at rest, in the face of the cruellest misery, “ Not my will, but thine be done.” If this cup may not pass, let my blood pass, if this cause cannot live except I die, let me die.
SONGS IN SUFFERING,
The world cannot but misjudge the state of suffering Christians. It sees their crosses, but not their anointings.
Was not Stephen, think you, in a hard posture in his enemies' hands ? But was he afraid of the shower of stones coming about his ears, who saw the heavens opened, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. So little, indeed, was he troubled with their stoning of him, that in the very midst of it, he fell asleep.-- Barnard,
GRACE AND PEACE. There is a throne of grace erected for us to come to, a Mediator of grace appointed in whose name to come, the Spirit of grace given to help our infirmities, and an answer of peace promised to every prayer of faith ; and all this that we might fetch in not only sanctifying but comforting grace in every time of need.- Henry.
DAVID AND HIS PSALMS. God and his heart met together as soon as he was awake, and kept together all the day after. We may more steadily go about our worldly callings, if we carry God in our hearts, as one foot of the compass will more regularly move round the circumference when the other remains firm in the centre. We should look at things unseen, as men do at a mark they would shoot at. Meditate on your own interest therein. Draw spiritual inferences from occasional objects. He whose eyes are open can never want an instructor, unless he wants a heart. A view of spiritual truths in sensible objects would clear our knowledge in many thiugs.
As God turns his thoughts of us into promises, so let us turn our thoughts of him into prayers—if his regards are darted in beams of love on us, let them be reflected back again in gratitude.-Charnock.
NO MAN CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS. A man may serve twenty masters, if they all command the same things, or things subordinate to each other; but he cannot serve two masters if their commands clash and interfere with each other. And such are the commands of Christ and the flesh in a suffering hour. Christ says, “ Be
thou faithful unto death,”—the flesh says, “ Spare thyself, and secure the comfort of this life.” A dog follows two men while they both walk one way, and you know not which of the two is his master; stay but a little till their paths separate, and then you will quickly see who is the master.-Flavel.
Christians ! walk humbly. Your state needs reliefyour best state ; your graces need strengthening and supporting. You had your being by grace, so you have your standing by grace. As strengthening and relieving mercy works towards you, so will ye do well; as that declines, so will you faint and do ill. “As we have received mercy, we faint not,” says the apostle. Our supply of strength is from relieving mercy ; if that be suspended, we faint. As we are humble, so are our relieving receptions; and as these are, so we faint not. Our strength is by daily bread, by daily divine concurrence,—that suspended, our life and livelihood are gone.
Eyeing too much what we have will soon make this sad suspension. Forget all, trust not in parts, no, nor trust in graces. Your best state is vanishing, your gold rusts, your grace needs grace, your state as a Christian needs strengthening power to carry it along,-the house upon the rock will else fall, when storms and winds beat. Mercy and compassion began your blessed state,--these must finish it ; walk as those who have all your fortune at their feet of mercy. A Christian is strongest when he is weakest in his own sense. “When I am weak, then am I strong. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmity, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
FITNESS FOR HEAVEN NECESSARY.
We need not only a title, but a fitness for heaven. A title to a property must be a perfect one, or it is no title at all; if there be a flaw in it, the right of inheritance is gone. But the fitness for the enjoyment of a property may be more or less complete. Two men may have
a title to equal properties; but one may be much more fitted for the enjoyment of it from his previous habits, dispositions, and information, than the other. It is so with the future rest. We have all of us, if Christians, the equal password ; that password which needs but to be mentioned, and we range the whole universe; we become free of heaven and earth in “Christ, and him crucified.” But each of us may have different degrees of fitness, from the convert of yesterday to the martyr that seals by his blood the principles that he has been taught by grace. But more or less such fitness is required. In fitness for it we shall grow. Our daily life shall be a constant struggle to put on all excellency, and to be made meet by the Spirit of God for the kingdom of heaven. These two are inseparable. There is no such thing as a man being entitled to heaven and not being fit for it. There is no such thing as one being fit for heaven and not entitled to it. These two are inseparable.
WAR AGAINST VICE. Revealed religion teaches patience under suffering ; but it is misunderstood when it is supposed to inculcate quiet submission to wrong. It requires men to war against vice in themselves first, but also in society. It is opposed to confusion, and tends to harmony and order. To restrict its sphere to individual improvement, is to leave to the Deist and Atheist the highest sphere of general society. Humboldt regards mankind as “one great brotherhood, advancing together towards the attainment of one common object, the free development of their moral faculties." When men begin to combine against vice, and see that to repress immorality by all lawful means, is to propagate : that religion which Jesus died to give us, when it shall be a chief aim of society to convince every one of its members, by all possible motives, that it is for his own best interest and happiness to live by the law of love to God and man; then, and not till then, shall we see any great and permament improvement in the social condition of the world ; then there will begin to be a public conscience against vice;