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she attended, yet neither frost, snow, rain, nor bad roads, were sufficient to detain her at home. How unlike the conduct of many, who suffer any trivial incident to keep them from the house of God!
A woman who always used to attend public worship with great punctuality, and took care to be always in time, was asked how it was she could always come so early; answered, very wisely, “ That it was part of her religion not to disturb the religion of others.”
The late Hearer.
A minister, whom I well knew, observing that some of his people made a practice of coming in very late, and after a considerable part of the ser. mon was gone through, was determined that they should feel the force of a public reproof. One day, therefore, as they entered the place of worship at their usual late period, the minister, addressing his congregation, said, “ But, my hear. ers, it is time for us now to conclude, for here are our friends just come to fetch us home.” We may easily conjecture what the parties felt at this curious but pointed address.
The deaf Waman a constant Attendant.
“ I have in my congregation,” said a venerable minister of the gospel, “ a worthy aged woman, who has for many years been so deaf, as not to distinguish the loudest sound, and yet she is always one of the first in the meeting. On asking the reason of her constant attendance (as it was impossible for her to hear my voice), she answered, * Though I cannot hear you, I come to God's house because I love it, and would be found in his ways; and he gives me many a sweet thought upon the text, when it is pointed out to me: another reason is, because there I am in the best company, in the more immediate presence of God, and ainongst his saints, the honourable of the earth. I am not satisfied with serving God in private: it is my duty and privilege to honour him regularly and constantly in public.'” What a reproof this to those who have their hearing, and yet always come to a place of worship late, or not at all!
The fearful Christian turned courageous.
There was one Victorinus famous in Rome for teaching rhetoric to the senators: this man in his old age was converted to Christianity, and came to Simplicianus (who was an eminent man), whispering softly in his ears these words, “I am a Christian;" but this holy man answered, “ I will not believe it, nor count thee so, till I see thee among the Christians in the Church.” At which he laughed, saying, “ Do, then, those walls make a Christian? Cannot I be such except I openly profess it, and let the world know the same?” A while after, being more confirmed in the faith, and considering that, if he should thus continue ashamed of Christ, Christ would be ashamed of him in the last day, he changed his note, and came to Simplicianus, saying, “Let us go to the church; I will now in earnest be a Christian.” And there, though a private profession of his faith might have been suffi. cient, yet he chose to make it openly, saying,
" That he had openly professed rhetoric, which was not a matter of salvation; and why should he: be afraid to own the word of God in the congre. gation of the faithful?”
Much has been said as to the inutility of hearing, and of public worship in general. The following thoughts relative to this subject are adinirable.
“ Public worship,” says a fair authoress,“ is a civic meeting. The temple is the only place where human beings, of every rank, sex, and age, meet together in one common purpose, and join together in one common act. Other meetings are either political, or formed for the purposes of splendor and amusement; from both which, in this country, the bulk of inhabitants are of necessity excluded. This is the only place, to enter which, nothing more is necessary than to be of the same species; the only place where man meets man, not only as an equal, but a brother; and where, by contemplating his duties, he may become sensible of his rights. Such is the increasing pride of the privileged classes, that it is to be feared, if men did not attend at the same place here, it would hardly be believed they were meant to go to the same place hereafter. It is of service to the cause of freedom, therefore, no less than to that of virtue, that there is one place where the invidious distinctions of wealth and titles are not admitted; where all are equal, not by making the low proud, but by making the great humble. How many a man exists who possesses not the smallest property
in this earth, of which you call
him lord; who, from the narrowing spirit of property, is circumscribed and hemmed in by the possessions of his more opulent neighbours, till there is scarcely an unoccupied spot of verdure on which he can set his foot to admire the beauties of nature, or barren mountain on which he can draw. the fresh air without a trespass! The enjoyments of life are for others; the labours of it are for him. He hears those of his class spoken of collectively, as of machines, which are to be kept in repair, indeed, but of which the sole use is to raise the. happiness of the higher orders. Where, but in the temple of religion, shall he learn that he is of the same species? He hears there (and, were it for the first time, it would be with infinite astonishment) that all are considered as alike ignorant, and to be instructed; all alike sinful, and needing forgiveness; all alike bound by the same obligations, and animated be the same hopes. In the intercourses of the world the
seen, but not noticed; he may be in the presence of his superiors, but he cannot be in their company. In every other place it would be presumption in him to let his voice be heard along with theirs; here alone they are both raised together, and blended in the full chorus of praise. In every other place it would be an offence to be near them, without shewing in his attitudes and deportment the conscious marks of inferiority; here only he sees the prostrations of the rich as low as his, and hears them both addressed together in the majestic simplicity of a language that knows no adulation.”
poor man is
A NOTORIOUS robber in Scotland, known by the name of John of the Score, happening to meet with a poor man travelling with two horses, forcibly took them both away, regardless of the entreaties of the distressed countryman, who, fall. ing on his knees, begged him, for Jesus Christ's sake, to restore one of them, as the maintenance of his family depended on his horses.
The thief, having returned home, became from that day dull and melancholy, unable to rest at : home, or pursue his depredations abroad; for which he could assign no cause but this, that the words which the poor man had uttered concerning Jesus Christ (which, by the way, he was so ignorant as not to understand) laid like a heavy weight upon his spirit. Desiring, therefore, his sons to shift for themselves, and secretly restrained from attempting to escape or hide himself, he was apprehended by the ministers of justice, imprisoned in Edinburgh, tried, and condemned to die.
Being visited by the Reverend Mr. Blyth, and a Mr. Cunningham, who had formerly known him, he was exhorted to consider his miserable and dangerous condition as a dying sinner, and to fly for refuge to Jesus Christ. Hearing that name, he suddenly cried out, “ Oh! what word is that? for it has been my death! That is the word that has lain on my heart ever since the poor man mentioned it, so that I had no power to escape.” The minister took occasion to preach to him JESUS, as the only and all-sufficient Saviour. “ But will he," said the relenting thief, “ will he ever look upon me? will he ever shew mercy to me,