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some is, she hastened home; and made it an invariable rule te retire to her chamber for the purposes of meditation and prayer.
An high degree of abstraction from the world was conducive to the same end. For many months she scarcely uttered a secular sentence. Her conversation was truly in Heaven ; and when worldly subjects were started, she frequently withdrew to her chainber, as one that had nothing to do with the affairs of this life. The same degree of separation from the world is certainly not in the power of every one: but it may safely be asserted, that much of that communion with the world, and conformity to it, which prevail among religious professors, is the effect of inclination, not of necessity, and a sad bar to peace and joy in believing.
But it must be observed, that the piety of Miss C. was not continerl to her closet and the house of God. Loving God, she loved her brother ako. She was, therefore, often to be found in the cottages of the poor, reading the Scriptures, and conversing on the things that pertain to the kingdom of God; and even after she was confined by sickness, her hands were employed on a charitable account. Like Dorcas, she made garments for the widow and the fatherless. Two thirds at least of her allowance for clothes and pocket-money were expended for charitable purposes. Real godliness consists not altogether in devotional exercises,--but in a due mixture of holy contemplation and active benevolence.
Would the render enjoy the comforts of religion in the season of sickness and of death ?-would he not only die in a state of acceptance with God, but have an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Saviour ?-let him be constantly looking to Jesus ;-let him imbibe the spirit of devotion, a love of retirement, and an habitually prayerful temper; let him read and study the Scriptures in private, as well as attend on the public means of grace. In the latter, something may be found which corrupt nature relishes; in the former, nothing. The evidence therefore which an attendance on outward ordinances aifords, may be dubious and suspicious; but that which arises from sccret intercourse with God is olcar and indisputable,
A THOUGHT FOR THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR,
Behold, thou hast made my days as an hand-breadth.
Psalm xxxix. 5, 6 This is one of the shortest measures. We need not lines to measure our lives by, each one carries a measure about with hin, his own hand. This is the longest and fullest measure. It is not so much as a span; that roight bave been the measure
of old age in the infancy of the world ; but now it is contracted
end their course w within the compass
of childhood! 66 Whether we take this hand-breadth for the fourscore years, which is ordinarily the utmost extent of human life in our age, or for the four scasons of life, - childhood, youth, manhood, and old age, - there are great numbers who take up their lodging ere they come near the last of any of these ; and few attain to the outmost. border of them, All of us are but a hand-breadth from death, and some of us not so much; for we have already passed a part of that hand-breadth, and we know not how little remains.
“ The brevity of life is a very useful consideration. We may learn from thence patience under all our crosses and troubles. They may be shorter than life, but they cannot be longer. There are few on whom an affliction hath lain all the days of their life; and though that were the case, how soon is it over ! In all the bitter blasts that blow on thy face, thou who art a Christian indeed, mayest comfort thyself in the expectation of the good lodging that is before thee. As to others, it were the greatest comfort thai their p«sent allictions should be lengthened out to eternity.
“ This also may teach us temperance in what are called “the Good Things of this World." Though a man ha a lease of all that the world can afford for his whole life (which no mian ever had) what is it? A dream of an hour long! None of these things, which are so delightful, will accompany the cold lump of clay to the grave. In a little time, those us who are married and rejoice, shall be as if they rejoiced not," nor ever had done it ; and if so, a wise man makes little difference in these things, between their presence and their absence.
This thought siouid teach us diligence in our business : we have a short day, and much io do: it were well to be up early, and to remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth." and as to you who are come to riper years, be advised to lay hola on that which remains, før ye know not how little it is.
“ The more you fill yourselves with the things of this life, the feebler desires will you have after the rivers of pleasure which are at Gou's right hand." They shall never run dry; but all these other thiners shall soon be dried up; at furthost when old age
shall come, if not sooner : and on the other hand, the more wc deny ourselves the sensual enjoyment of a present worll, we grow the liker to that divine estatc, and are inide the surer of it; and I am certain all will grant that this is a very profitable exchange.
Archbishop Leighton's Lecture on Psalm 39.
A PRACTICAL ILLUSTRATION OF THE PASSAGE
OF SCRIPTURE, Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as dores. In the short but inglorious reign of James the Second, when Popery was making rapid strides to power, the king had his agents and emissaries in every part of the kingdom, to barrass, vox, and weary the Protestants into a compliance with the measures he was endeavouring to bring about; and where persua. sion and threats had no effect, sometimes force and violence were had recourse to: One of his agents, with a party of soldiers (rather ruffians, I should say) went out on a Sabbath morning to “ hunt down the Protestants," as they termed it. They met a young woman, a servant maid, running along the road, early in the morning, without either shoes or stockings on. The captain of this band asked her where she was going, so early in the riorning: and what was the urgency of the business that made her run so fist. She told him, That she had learned that her ekker brother was dead; and she was going to receive her share of the riches he had bequeathed to her, as well as to her other brothers and sisters ; and she was afraid she should be too Jate. The commander was so well pleased with her answer, that he gave her half a crown to buy a pair of shoes, and also wished her success : but if he had known the real business she was going upon, which was to a Sacrament, he would most probably have prevented her from going that day to the place where she hoped to receive durable riches.
THE TRUTH OF CHRISTIANITY.
Dr. Cotton, who was intimate with Dr. Young, paid him a visit abont a fortnight before he was seized with his last illness. The old man was then in perfect health. The antiquity of his person, the gravity of his utterance, and the earnestness with which he discoursed about religion, gave him, in the Doctor's eyes, the appearance of a prophet. They had been delivering their sentiments upon this book of Newton *, when Dr. Young closed the conference thus: “ My friend, there are two considerations upon which my faith in Christ is built, as upon a rock. The Fall of Man, the Redemption of Man, and the Resurrection of Man, the three cardinal articles of our religion, are such as human ingenuity could never have invented, therefore, they mast be divine. The other argument is this : If the prophecies have been fulfilled (of which there is abundant demonstration) the Scripture must be the word of God; and, if the Scripture is the word of God, Christianity must be true."
Hayley's Life of Cowper. * On the Prophecies.
THE CHRISTIAN'S REFUGE
Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice
of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Isaiah 1. 10.
Some, in our times, talk of doubts and fears as being quite impossible in the character of true Christians. They maintain that assurance of a state of salvation is essential to true faith; and therefore is the attainment of every true Christian at all times. It cannot be denied, that this contradicts both the sentiment and the experience of many of the saints of God. I have known many who have imbibed such notions, who were themselves but novices in religion, and who therefore ought to bave spoken with much modesty and diffidence. Some I have heard exclaiming against doubts and fears in Christians as quite anti-scriptural, while their own characters were often very doubtful, or perhaps shewed them to be undoubtedly in the wrong. - Such persons are led to these notions from gross ignorance of themselves, and from indulging daring presumption before God.
Some are led to adopt such sentiments as those we have been speaking of, from inattention to the subject, or from confounding things that are very different. The truth of their characters as believers, and of their interest as dependents on Christ, does not vary, or rise and fall with the degree of their comfort and assurance. Faith in Christ renders them safe, though it may not immediately free them from doubts and fears; nor will their apprehensions endanger them ; but by leading them to cleave closer to Christ, will render their safety more evident and undoubted. Such confound too the permanent security of the saints with the perpetual assurance or sense of their safety :but their security is permanent, as it rests on the unchangeable love and
of the Lord, while their assurance of it, or comforts, may vary, according to their present fervour, diligence, and watchfulness.
We have here a particular description of the people of God they fear the Lord, and obey the voice of his servant. The saints all fear the Lord: their fear is not that slayish fear or terror which is connected with hatred of God, and aversion to his character. This is the alarming apprehension ef God's enemies. But the fear of the saints is a filial affectionate fear, or dread of offending him, or dishonouring him. Their understandings are enlightened by his Spirit, and their hearts are filled with love to Him. Solomon tells us, “ The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
and to depart from evil is understanding :” and every one of the saints is a living evidence of its truth,
They shew that they fear God by their conversation. They speak of the things concerning the King. “ They speak of the glory of his kingdom, and talk of his power, to make known to the sons of men liis mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.” The people of God associate together, in times of degeneracy, to comfort and assist one another when despised and persecuted by their enemies. - Thus it was in Malachi's days: ~ 66 Then i hey that feared the Lord, spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him, for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” The zeal and faithfulness of his people for his glory are not unnoticed by him, and will not be forgotten of him: - They shew that they fear God by their conduct. - Loving God and his service, and fearing to offend, they cannot but obey. They are all obedient children: their reverence of God is operative: they testify their attachment to him by doing what he say3. The catalogue of ancient worthies, in the eleventh of the Hebrews, all justified their faith by their works. Of Abraham, God says, 166 Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him ; for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” So we must manifest that we fear him by our conduct.
But saints also obey the voice of his servant. The servant of the Father bere spoken of, is doubtless the Lord Jesus Christ. He delivers to us his Father's will, which we are bound to listen to and obey. His voice is interesting and animating. It is at our peril to refuse to listen to him, or obey him. Hence Moses says, “I will raise them up a prophet, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words, which hé shall speak in my name, I will require iti of him.” And Solomon says,c-“ Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors ;' for whoso findeth me, findeth life, and shall 'obtain favour of the Lord : but he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death." His people all obey his voice. He tells such as profess attachment to him, that this is necessary to prove it genuine.--.“ If ye continue in my words, ye are my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
We have in the passage a distressing condition supposed, which some of these people may be found in. Who is among you that walketh in darkness, and hath 'no light? This is a very distressing situation, and has been a subject of consider. able dispute. Attention to the Scriptures may very well disa