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of sickness, we should call in a physician.' It is in accordance with the designs of Providence that He employs ourselves and other secondary agents to lead us to our end. Hence, we must use every legitimate means at our disposal in the accomplishment of our destiny, and look upon them all as the instruments of Providence. If we neglect these means, we resist God by the perverse use of our will.

In short, your Heavenly Father wishes you to be industrious, without too much solicitude; to be active and diligent without yielding to excessive care and anxiety. He desires you to labor to-day as if all depended on your own right arm, and to trust to to-morrow as if all depended on the mercy of God. Use to-day, for it is yours. Trouble not yourself about the morrow, for it belongs to God. It is still in the womb of time, and may never be

born for you.

“In human hearts what bolder thought can rise

Than man's presumption on to-morrow's dawn?
Where is to-morrow? In another world.
For numbers this is certain. The reverse
Is sure to none. And yet in this Perhaps,
This Peradventure, infamous for lies,
As on a rock of adamant, we build
Our mountain hopes, spin our eternal schemes,
As we the Fatal Sisters could outspin,
And big with life's futurities, expire.” ?

2

But would not the goodness of Providence be

1 Ibid., Verse 11. 2 Young's Night Thoughts.

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more strikingly manifested, if God gave us insight into the future? Forewarned we should be forearmed. We should be enabled to ward off the dangers that threaten us, or to encounter them with vigilant energy.

The hypothesis which is the basis of this objection is self-contradictory. Either the event whose occurrence we anticipate with dread will happen or it will not. In the former case it would be impossible to avert the threatened evil, and a certain knowledge of the impending danger would only augment our solicitude; in the latter case, it would unnecessarily add to our unhappiness.

If the bare possibility of some future calamity excites our dread, how much would our alarm be increased by the certain foreknowledge of its occurrence!

If the burden of each passing hour is hard to be borne, how overwhelming would be the accumulated cares of the future superadded to the present !

Providence, therefore, doles out to you each day its special trials, and mercifully casts the veil over those that are to come, lest the contemplation of so many tribulations might appal you.

“Heaven from all creatures hides the book of Fate,
All but the page prescrib'd, their present state:
From brutes what men, from men what spirits know:
Or who could suffer being here below ?
The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play?
Pleased to the last, he crops the flow'ry food,
And licks the hand just raised to shed his blood.

O blindness to the future! Kindly given,
That each may fill the circle marked by Heav'n.” 1

1

The whole may be summed up in the golden words of our Saviour: “Be not solicitous for tomorrow; for the morrow will be solicitous for itself. Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.” 2

"Pope.
2 Matt. VI., 34.

CHAPTER VIII.

THE DIGNITY AND EFFICACY OF PRAYER.

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Prayer moves the Hand that moves the universe.”

GURNALL's Christian Armor.

“ Hast thou not learn’d what thou art often told,

A truth still sacred, and believed of old,
That no success attends on spears and swords
Unblest, and that the battle is the Lord's ?"

COWPER.—Expostulation.
“ More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of."

TENNYSON.-Morte d'Arthur.

Some years ago, in a Southern city, I was requested by a Catholic lady to call on her husband, who was suffering from a fatal malady, though his mind was entirely clear. This gentleman had been brought up by his father in the school of Voltaire and his associates, wḥose infidel teachings he had imbibed, and he avowed himself not only an unbeliever in the Catholic faith, but even a skeptic, as far as all revealed religion was concerned. Knowing the bent of his mind on the subject of religion, I endeavored, at some length and by every argument at my command, to remove his objections to Christianity, and to prepare him for the rational acceptance of our holy religion.

After listening to me with great patience and close attention, he courteously, but frankly, informed me that my remarks had made no impression on him whatever, and that between him and me there was an impassable gulf, which no reasoning of mine could bridge over.

Although mortified and discouraged by his candid reply, I did not despair, but resumed the conversation, which was, in substance, as follows:

"You certainly acknowledge,” said I, “the existence of a Supreme Being, the Author of creation, and the living Source of all life?

"Every man,” he replied, “that uses his brains, must concede that truth.”

“ You will further admit,” I continued, “that, as the Author of all being is omniscient, He knows our condition; as He is omnipotent, He has the power to succor us; and, as He is infinitely good, He is not indifferent or insensible to the wants of His creatures, especially of those whom He has endowed with an immortal soul and an intelligent nature. He does not cast them off from His thoughts, as the loosened fragment is thrown off from a planet and hurled into space. He, from whom all paternity is derived, must have, in an eminent and perfect degree, those paternal feelings which a father has for his child."

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