Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

dantly and beautifully applied in the same churchyard

The pious dead like stars by day,

Unseen by mortal eye,
Are not extinct, but hold their way

In glory, through the sky.

Grave! to thee is given in trust,
These slumbering ashes of the just,-
The Saviour's purchase! safely keep,
Until He raises them that sleep :
Then, at His call, thy charge resign
To life immortal and divine.

Upon a man of eighty-two years of age.
Time, which had silver'd long my hoary head,
At length hath rank'd me with the silent dead.
One hint, gay youth, from dust and ashes borrow:
My days were many—thine may close to-morrow.

Would it not be practicable to point out to your readers some texts which might be suitable to different cases, such as in the following specimens ?

“ The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”

“ Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.” “ I know that my Redeemer liveth,” &c.

ANON.

To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.

SIR,

In your Number for July, you inserted some observations of mine on the nature of Parables in general. I now send you some remarks on the parable of the sower, contained in the 13th chapter of St. Matthew. The terms of this parable need no explanation; they were clearly explained by our

NO. 46.-VOL. IV.

X

blessed Lord himself to his disciples, because they were humble-minded, and wished to be instructed. It

may be observed in passing, that the word in the original, in the 19th verse, translated " understandeth,” signifies rather “anxiously to consider."

Our Saviour divides mankind into four different classes. With three of these the seed; that is, the Gospel, is unsuccessful.

But why does not the Gospel produce fruit in many that hear it? This is the important question which must occur to every one who reads this parable with attention. And this question well deserves the serious consideration of every one who finds that his heart is not conformed to the spirit of the Gospel-that it does not plentifully produce good fruit. The same seed, i. e. the same Gospel, is dispensed to all Christians; therefore, on this account, there is no reason to expect that in some it should produce no fruit, while in others it should bring forth one hundred fold.' If a farmer finds that his crop has partially failed, he may account for this by his seed not being equally good; but it cannot be so in the case we are considering: all the seed which the heavenly Sower has scattered, is good. Since then, our Saviour foretold that there would be, and our experience tells us that there is, a failure in the crop, and since all the seed which is sown is good, the cause of this failure must be in the soil. Now, this soil is the human heart, which is not naturally inclined to love God, and consequently is averse to practise the things which he has commanded. If, then, our hearts are not prepared for the reception of the Gospel, if we do not wish to accept its merciful offers, and to practise its holy precepts, we shall neither hear it nor read it with profit. As well might a farmer look for an abundant crop from seed scattered on the highway, as a minister expect to influence a hearer who is

not desirous of being instructed. Let no one imagine, that this preparation of the heart will be his, unless he earnestly pray to Almighty God for divine aid to give it him. Without this blessed influence, we shall in vain endeavour to free the heart from those prejudices which it entertains against the humbling doctrines, and pure and holy commands of the Scriptures.

How can the drunkard go on still in his wickedness, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death ?" Because he has not a prepared heart, and because he loves his vice more than his God. How can the covetous man refuse to assist his poorer brethren, when he recollects the torments of him who neglected Lazarus? Because in bis heart he loves his treasures here more than those which are laid up in heaven. Why does the man of business or pleasure frequently hear“the word of the kingdom” without being influenced by it? Because his heart is wholly occupied by the things of this life, and he has not one thought to bestow upon the concerns of the next. : Let. every one, then, who reads this parable, consider it with deep attention: let him reflect that it is useless to receive the seed, that it is useless to read the Bible and attend the service of the Church, unless in his heart he sincerely wishes, by God's grace, to practise what he there learns, and bring forth fruit abundantly. It is “ with the heart that man believeth unto righteousness.Rom. x. 10.

N. C. T. August 8.

[ocr errors]

LETTER FROM A FATHER TO HIS SON, AN
APPRENTICE BOY.

Sept. 4th, 1824. My Dear Box, In the last letter which I wrote to you, I told you that, after King James the Second had given up the crown of England, King William was chosen to be King in his stead. I think, I told you, also, that Queen Mary, William's wife, was the daughter of James the. Second. , Now there was no objection to having Mary for a Queen, because she was not a Papist, like her father; she had embraced the Protestant religion: King James had also another daughter whose name was Anne; and, as she was a Protestant likewise, she was appointed to be Queen, after the death of William ; for William died without children. The rest of the family of James were not allowed to reign in England, because they still continued to follow the Popish religion. They made indeed several attempts to get possession of the kingdom, but could never succeed; for the people now saw the excellence of the Christian religion, as it is held by Protestants, and therefore it was settled, by law, that no Papist should be King of England; and therefore, though the male descendants of King James called themselves Kings and Princes of England, they are usually called by the English, Pretenders; but we may; perhaps, say more of them in some other letter. Queen Anne was thirty-eight years

of
age

when she came to the throne.

I have said that the greater part of the last King's reign was taken up in wars; because the King was himself a great soldier, and seemed fond of 6ghting; but we shall see, that, even in the reign of Anne, there was a great deal of fighting too; to

[ocr errors]

be sure, the Queen herself could not well fight, but she had a great general called the Duke of Marlborough, and he fought a great many battles against the French, and generally beat them. The French King, Louis the Fourteenth, thought, that, when our King William was dead, and England was governed by a woman, he should have nothing to fear, but he soon found the difference; for the Queen was determined to keep up the character of the country for bravery, and her friend, the Duchess of Marlborough, encouraged her in this, and the Duke fought for her, so that things were, perhaps, never carried on with more spirit in England, than in the reign of Queen Anne. Many battles were won, and many towns on the Continent were taken, and a great deal of honour was gained to the general and the soldiers and the nation; but whether any real advantage was got by these wars, or any addition to the nation's real prosperity or happi. ness, is a matter on which I do not pretend to judge.

The greatest battle which the Duke of Marlborough fought was the battle of Blenheim. It was so called, because it was fought in the neighbourhood of the village of Blenheim, near the river Danube, in Germany. The Duke gained a complete victory. The Queen and the people were filled with joy at this success.

The Duke had a grant given him of the Manor of Woodstock, near Oxford, with a noble park. A fine splendid house was likewise built for him in the park; which belongs to the family now, and is called Blenheim, in honour of the Duke's great victory.

But, whilst we are talking of this great English general, and the brave English soldiers, we must not forget to mention the brave admirals and sai. lors too. At the beginning of Queen Anne's reign, indeed, we were not so successful by sea as we have been since: I cannot, however, help telling you of

« ПредишнаНапред »