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the thread of nearly every story is broken, and we lose the benefit of its lessons ;-but if an attentive eye were but fixed upon the entire histories of these cases, we should find in a vast majority of instances, that the results had been altogether different from those anticipated ;--that the speculation had proved a total failure.

Upon the hypothesis of our opponents, this practice of “providing for our children” being general, the history of mankind ought to present to us one perpetual succession of families, kept up from age to age, by the sustaining influence of this principle. The merchants and traders of London made this provision for their children a century ago ; and their forefathers a century before that. But how many of their families have been kept in their original rank, or raised to a higher, by this continual struggle? Not one in a thousand! Go through this prosperous city, and ask, where are the descendants of those who, a century back, stood and gathered wealth for the heirs that should come after ? Here and there, in solitary antiquity, a relic may be found. But in 999 cases out of every 1000 these children, so carefully provided for, have perished in vice or in want, or have descended into the common throng of our labouring population. And who are they that occupy their room? They are, in a vast majority of cases, the men who had no provision” made for them,-or if any, a far smaller one than any of these hoarders would deem “sufficient.” They are those who, with the energy which necessity teaches, outrun, in the world's race, the men who have been brought up in ease and comfort, and with the enervating expectance of a comfortable provision.”

516

THE CANKER OF THE RELIGIOUS WORLD.

I question, therefore, and upon what seem to me to be sufficient grounds, the practical wisdom of the

making provision” principle, even upon the low grounds commonly taken by its advocates. But I would prefer infinitely that these persons would judge of its truth by scriptural tests. The drift and tendency of all scripture is, (I would speak humbly but without doubt)-in favour of industry and prudence,-of providing for the wants of those whom God in his providence may entrust to our care ;but it is not in favour of accumulation, of heaping up wealth with reference to years to come, while the temporal and spiritual wants of the vast majority of our fellow-creatures cry to us for present aid on

every side.

R. B.

INTRODUCTORY LINES FOR AN ALBUM.

There are moments which borrow their tints from

the bow That spans the dark orb of this dwelling of woe: Though the scowl be above, and the hurricane round, And havoc stalk wide o'er the storm-beaten ground, That vision of beauty embraces the sphere, A radiant illusion-its fabric a tear.

On my desolate road, when the sunbeam is dark, And grief's pointed arrows, fly thick to their mark, When the cold chilling glance scans the stranger

unknown,
And the heart bears its burden unpitied-alone,
In that season of sadness how sweet will it be,
Thou record of friendship! to gaze upon thee.
Oh, soft as the colours that blend in the bow,
Fond mem'ry her gleam of enchantment shall throw
Athwart the dim cloud, while I trace in each line
Some band whose kind pressure was warm within

mine,
And deem every page, as I number them o'er,
Still vivid with eye-beams that cheer me no more.
The past all my own—all the present forgot-
My heart shall revisit each chronicled spot,
Recalling the features that brightened the gloom,
Though severed by distance, or cold in the tomb.

Oh happy the souls, who but find in the grave
A conquered destroyer, a manacled slave;
They fling off the fetters of flesh, and aspire
To glory--they mount as a column of fire.
Away with the present, away with the past,
Be ours the bright future, for ever to last.
Let sunshine or gloom be our portion below,
The flow'r path of peace, or the ocean of woe,
Our track by the flock, by its Shepherd, was trod,
Our home is a city, whose builder is God;
Our port is a harbour no storms can assail,
Our anchor immoveable, never to fail.
O'er-arching, defending the mansions above,
A rainbow of peace, and a banner of love,
Outshining the blaze of earth's cloud-mantled sun,
Beneath their broad splendour unite us in one.

The mystic communion, the thrice woven cord,
That gathers and girdles our souls in the Lord,
Like the love that hath blent it, immortal, divine,
Time, death, and eternity fail to untwine!
Though memory's dim outline wax faint on the eye,
Fair Hope bends her full gaze of rapture on high,
And Faith softly whispers, where'er ye may roam,
Sad fugitives, ye will be gathered at home!

C. H. R.

THE SPIRIT OF THE AGE.

In every period of the history of mankind, some specific and leading characteristics, which distinguish it, may be easily discerned. When war was almost the sole occupation, a martial and bold spirit animated the breast of every aspirant for honour. When the fine arts and literature were held in the highest esteem, civilization and refinement rapidly pervaded every rank. In the days of chivalry, heroic ardour was mingled with the softer passions, and then a spirit of romance and adventure became universal. And again, when bigotry and ignorance reigned triumphant, the fierce and cruel tendencies of human nature predominated. But it would be necessary to take a wide range over the field of history, to follow out these observations in detail; and it is merely intended here to apply them to the times in which we live, that we may try to discover their leading features, and what are the follies and the sins by which they are distinguished; that we may avoid them, and, as far as possible, seek to prevent the results they will inevitably bring in their train. Without presuming to go beyond the province of the weaker sex, by plunging into the depths of political speculation, let us just look at things as they really are, and what will then first strike an attentive observer? Will it not be this, that there is a spirit

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