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inquiries of the woman, we learnt known and unfelt. The language of that she read the Bible to him, the soul that has “ fled for refuge,' and he seemed to like it; and she to Christ—that has been
acceptread prayers to him, which he re- ed in the beloved,”-that has been peated after her; but more she washed in the blood of Jesus-that could not say. Oh how many,
has been sanctified by the Spirit's like this poor old man, are con- influence the language, I say, of tented with the form of godliness that soul, cannot be misunderstood : and are destitute of the power for " out of the abundance of the thereof! My friend left a tract for heart, the mouth speaketh ;” and her to read to him, entitled • The joys to speak of its great and Sinner's Rest,' which he also did glorious privileges. at the several cottages on our way
And thus in sweet communion, homewards.
the happy communion of hearts The poor old man was the sub- united to each other in Christ, did ject of our conversation. On what we pass the remainder of our walk a fearful precipice was he slum- homewards ; parting with the heabering! Yet alas ! thousands are venly hope, the blissful confidence, lulled, as they think in security in that whatever separation the good the same fatal repose. They know providence of God may make upon nothing of the application of earth, we shall meet at his right Christ's blood and righteousness, hand, “ with joy unspeakable and for pardon, and justification before full of glory.” God; and the Spirit's sanctifying
C. power is a language totally un
ON INCONSTANCY IN RELIGION.
Few things are more common or
" with whom is no variableness, more grievous than a spirit of incon- neither shadow of turning;” and. stancy in professors of religion. It that his horizon is bounded only is not, indeed, at all surprising by the everlasting hills, forsaking that man, surrounded by scenes gradually the belief which he once and circumstances which are con- seemed strenuously to hold, and tinually changing, and seeing mu- permitting the religious theory tability stamped upon every thing which he had been long engaged he meets, should admit into his in rearing, to crumble, fragment temporal concerns much of that by fragment, away. It is lamentfickleness which is the attribute of able that this should be a case of the world in which he lives. But such frequent occurrence, and it it is, we think, both strange and shews how weak is man's boasted sad that he should carry amid the intellect, when left to its own unsacred mysteries of religion the assisted powers, that it can thus same fondness for change, and that dare to use the hallowed realities while affecting to have become of eternity as the playthings of a altogether a new creature he should
versatile fancy. still remain the same irresolute and If we do not find stability in unstable being as before. And religion, we shall never find it at yet often do we find the man who all. The reasonings of philosophy has openly declared himself the and the discoveries of science leave servant of God and the disciple of us in uncertainty, and all the wishis Son, and who tells us that the dom of this world can only teach rule of his life is the will of Him us that we know nothing. The APRIL 1838.
possessions and wealth which to- in doubt whether he has saved his day we call our own, may to-mor- soul. row be claimed by another ; our We will offer a few brief observery life hangs by a thread; and vations on the cause of this fatal miserable man, if he have placed malady; and in so doing we shall not his trust in God, is left to at the same time be pointing out struggle amid the fluctuations of a
The cause then, we fickle world, without the hope of think, is an overweening confidence ever reaching a resting-place. For in our own strength, an utter forthe true believer, however, a refuge getfulness of the paralysis which has been provided : he has found the understanding has suffered from repose and safety at the foot of the original corruption, a proud recross; and has been enabled to liance on human reason, and a gain and keep a standing on the neglect in seeking the influence of rock of eternity, where he can lis- the Holy Spirit, without which it ten without apprehension to the is impossible that a correct and tempest that
howl at its base. consistent spiritual character can The fascinations of specious heresies be formed. Intellect, and genius, or the seductions of false teachers and industry, have ever proved have no effect upon him ; he has unable of themselves to guide the been led beside the still waters, he inquirer in the narrow path of true has been made to lie down in green wisdom, and are of little avail in pastures, and he has no inclination preventing the deviation or the to roam in quest of clearer streams fall. Small aid is to be derived or a richer soil.
from the calm inquiry, the unpreBut the inconstant professor is judiced discussion, and the philo. the victim of an unsatisfied and sophic candour of which we hear wayward mind; to his love of so much in the present age. There novelty he sacrifices his spiritual- must be some outward influence ity and his usefulness, and he wan- brought to bear upon our underders without compunction from standing and our affections; a wind preacher to preacher and from from heaven must fill the sails, or sect to sect.
we shall make no progress; there And this fatal spirit, often must be a leading from above, a spreads its insidious influences something given,'* to point out to where it is not openly developed. us the way to heaven, and to assist The man still attends his accus- us in the difficult ascent. tomed place of worship, but the word, our minds must be enlightfervour with which he once joined ened, and our spirits renewed by in the services of the sanctuary is the Spirit of God, before we can gone. He may, indeed, still ap- appreciate or practise the gospel pear to be listening attentively to of Jesus Christ. We must not the preacher, but it is only that he dig in the gold mines of truth with may be able to entangle him in tools of our own making, or we his talk ;' his eyes may seem to shall not only injure, but fail in be still fixed reverently on the extracting the precious ore. altar, but they are only engaged must not attempt to collect the in criticising its workmanship. He waters of wisdom in vessels of our may not cast off his ancient pro- own construction, or the sacred fessions; he
stream will be scattered and lost. in the bosom of the church, but of It is from the want of submitting his spiritual condition no favour- with child-like docility to the able idea can be formed ; and teachings of the Holy Ghost, that though he may have preserved his outward consistency, we are left
all the heresies have arisen which feet of Jesus; he needs not the have distracted the church. And tongue of the learned, for he has we shall never attain to any degree been taught by the Spirit to disof spiritual knowledge or holy cern even the deep things of God. practice,-never be enabled to He may at times find difficulties subdue the flesh, and hold constant in Holy Scripture, and he may communion with heaven, till we weep much that he is unable to have received God as our first and open the Book of God; but he only teacher, and are content to does not weep in vain : for the receive all our attainments in spi- “ Lion of the tribe of Judah, the rituality as supplies from his hand. Root of David has prevailed to And though the consciousness of open the book," and he at length our intellectual weakness may be reveals to the humble believer the mortifying to the man of learning, mysteries which he thirsted to it ought to bring much consolation know. Would that this spirit of to the bumble and unlettered fol- humility were spread far and wide! lower of Jesus. The latter feels Would that all who profess the that if heaven could be won only name of Christ were willing to by proud exertions in the field of cast all their science at the foot of science, it would never be his. the Cross, and to think that wisHe is conscious that if its myste- dom the most useful which teaches ries could be mastered only by us of Jesus, that eloquence the literary researches and intellectual most captivating which sets forth acumen, he must for ever remain his glory, and that poetry the ignorant of their meaning. But he sweetest which sings of his praise ! is cheered by the conviction that “For thou, O God, art the founthis is not the case ; he knows that tain of all wisdom; without thee to him the voice of God speaks as our very knowledge is but foolishplainly as to his better educated ness; but to know thee is to be brother; the message of invitation perfectly wise.” Absque te enim written over the portal of heaven sapere est desipere, te nosse vero est has been rendered legible to him :
perfecté scire. he possesses all know
M. N. ledge, for he has studied at the
S. Aug. Med. 5.
ON EVENING SERVICES.
SIR-A Correspondent in your employed at home; and it is quite last number calls upon his Clerical possible that base and designing Brethren to consider the evils re- individuals
have endeavoured sulting from Evening Services, and to pervert them to their own abostates that in consequence of such minable purposes; but such cases evils he has, after ten years expe- I conceive are extremely rare. Not rience, closed his church on the many are so shameless and abanSunday evening.
doned as to venture upon holy I have frequently heard similar ground in order that they may charges against these services; but become the seducers of others; so far as my observation extends, and many who have gone into the they rest on very slight grounds. sanctuary from doubtful, or even Evening Services, like every thing improper motives, have there been else, are liable to be abused; they met with by the message of divine are doubtless sometimes attended
grace, and turned from Satan unto by persons who might be better God. The Sunday evening walk is much more dangerous than the Dissenters. I think I can rememEvening Service. The idle gossip ber when in some very populous of the servants' hall or the kitchen towns there was no evening service is much more likely to open the either at church or meeting; and door to evil than the public ser- I almost think the former was first vices of religion; and I can scarcely opened for an evening service. think that much is to be expected
But the idea was no sooner sugfrom the Family Religion of those gested than it was widely adopted; masters and mistresses whose ser- and I remember at least twenty vants are in any great danger of years ago,a number of very eminent falling into the snares of which ministers who had conducted evenyour correspondent speaks. ing services for twenty or thirty,
In fact it is this neglect of or more years, united in attesting Family Religion which is the grand their value and importance. evil. It was this which led so I would fain hope that the evils many wise and pious ministers of of which your correspondent comformer days to introduce addition- plains are local. I have no idea al services into their churches. that his observation on dissenting The most zealous and useful of places can generally apply. My our pastors have uniformly main- experience indeed of dissent will tained that attendance on two not allow me to speak with any services in the day are as much as confidence, but certainly as far is advisable; that the leisure hours as my observation extends, I canof the Lord's Day, and especially not agree to his positions. the evening hours, cannot be better
however to ask employed than in reading the whether much of the alleged evil Scriptures, and the writings of might not be obviated by a little pious and holy men; instructing prudent caution and attention; and and catechizing children and ser- whether the ministers of religion vants; in reviewing the sermons might not occasionally impress which have been heard, in dili- upon their hearers a more vigilant gent self-examination, meditation, superintendance than is usually family, and private devotion. But exercised.
The evils suggested then experience proves that there must either arise in going or reare very many cases where persons turning from the house of God; or cannot attend divine service in the wbile the parties are there. Now morning or the afternoon, and surely those who have any real where they can attend at night. love for the souls of their children There are others where persons are
and servants might very easily unable or indisposed to improve preclude almost all opportunity. If the Sunday evening in a proper a parent or a master says to chilmanner. There are many who are dren or servants' Go to church,' but willing to go to the house of God, exercises no other superintendance, but whose time would be sadly mischief may very possibly ensue. wasted and frittered away at home; A thoughtless boy, or a giddy girl, and it sometimes happens that a may thus fall into the way of evil person who has no heart to religion, companions ; may loiter in the who would object to scriptural streets instead of going to church ; reading and prayer at home, may go in late ; sit in some obwill yet keep home, while several corner; indulge in much at least of the family go to public foolish or sinful conversation while worship.
there, and leave as soon as he I am not sure whether it can knows who reads or preaches; talk justly be said that evening lec- nonsense all the way home, and tures have been copied from the loiter till the last moment the
master allows; and thus the most God, reverently hear his word, fatal consequences may eventually joyfully praise his name, and when ensue; but this is not the fault of the service is over we return; the evening service.
the parents and children following neglect and inattention of the
pa- in due order, and the servants closrent, or the master, would lead to ing up the rear. There is a period similar mischiefs if the church door of silence as the congregation were closed, and the pulpit unoc
in the street. The cupied. But suppose instead of spaces open a little wider, and we saying · Go to church,' the parent can talk without being overheard. or master said, we will go to church, Perhaps Susan and William may All may not be able to go. Some have some conversation which is cbildren are too young.
Some- not very profitable; but it must body must stay at home to take be short; ten minutes or a quarter care of them. But all this is of an hour brings us all home; we easily arranged. The husband and
have kept out of the way
any wife may not be always able to very serious danger, we may imgo together. One may choose to prove what we have heard, and stay at home and prevent the in- if we do not profit, it is our own trusion of improper visitors while fault. the other goes to church; and
aware that this hasty where such is the case some regu- sketch assumes some points which lar plan should be adopted that are often overlooked. It implies all parties may know beforehand that the heads of the family are who is to go and who is to stay. prudent and managing, if not pious Every one knows wbat time the persons. That habits of foresight service begins; how long they and order are cultivated. That will be walking to church; at they are desirous of keeping their what hour it is necessary to have children and servants out of mistea in the parlour, that the ser- chief, and that therefore they use vants may have their tea, and be the
Now I cannot but ready at the appointed time, and feel that if W. D. instead of giving all go together. Instead then of up his Evening Service had endeathe young people coming in when voured to impress more fully upon the prayers are begun, and the his people the duty and practicamaster and mistress at the second bility of using such precautions as lesson, and the servants dropping are here suggested, he would have in just as the hymn is singing be- adopted a more excellent way. fore the sermon; the whole party But it may be said we cannot arrive and take their places in due bring our servants into order. They time. There is no saying, I wonder are thoughtless, they put off getwhere Mary gets to, or in what place ting things ready, or themselves Jane contrives to sit, or whether ready and we have always to wait Susan is gossiping with that worth- for them. The answer is, either less fellow, William. But we are change your servants or train them all here ; all together-all in our better. If they have no foresight, proper, our accustomed place. We you must use more. A little mild may therefore wait upon God reasoning and pointing out the inwithout distraction. We shall convenience and the displeasure to not disturb other people by com- which all are subjected, will do ing in late. There are no heart- much to remedy the evil.
But if burnings because strangers bave you are too indolent to think for been put into our empty seats, them, you must either incur the exsupposing we should not come ; pence and the discredit of frequent and now let us devoutly worship changes, or all will go wrong. But