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Good Society. It should be the aim of speak ?” With a look full of resignation men and women to go into good society; he instantly wrote, “Even so, Father, not the rich, the proud, the fashionable, for so it seemed good in thy sight.” but the society of the wise, the intelligent,
THE HEART. and the good. Where you find virtucus
The heart-the heart! oh! let it be persons that know more than you do, and
A true and bounteous thing; from whose conversation you can gather As kindly warm—as nobly free, information, it is always safe to be found.
As eagle's nestling wing. Many a one has been ruined, by associat
Oh! keep it not like misers' gold, ing with the low and vulgar. Lord Clar
Shut in from all beside; endon attributed his success and happiness in life, to associating with persons more
But let its precious stores unfold learned and virtuous than himself. If you
In mercy far and wide. wish to be wise and respected, if you
The heart—the heart, that's truly blest
Is never all its own; desire happiness and not misery, we advise
No ray of glory lights the breast you to associate with the intelligent and
That beats for self alone. the good. Strive for moral excellence and strict integrity, and you will never be The heart—the heart ! oh! let it spare found in the sinks of pollution, or on the
A sigh for others' pain; benches of gamblers. Once' habituate The breath that soothes a brother's care yourself to a virtuous course_once secure Is never spent in vain. a love for good society, and no punishment And though it throb at gentlest touch, would be greater than, by accident, to be
Or sorrow's faintest call, obliged for half a day to associate with the "Twere better it should ache too much, low and vicious.-Am. S. S. Treasury.
Than never ache at all. REDEEMING TIME.—Dean Swift, when
The heart—the heart, that's truly blest he claimed, at the usual time, the degree
Is never all its own; of A.B., was so deficient as to obtain it No ray of glory lights the breast
That beats for self alone. only by special favour, a term used to denote want of merit. Of this disgrace he DUTY AND USEFULNESS. If we think it was so ashamed, that he resolved from
our duty to undertake any enterprise, we that time to study eight hours a day, and ought to do so, even though we may not continued his industry for seven years, see all the good that will result from it; with what improvement is sufficiently and, likewise, if we perceive its beneficial known. This part of his history deserves
consequences, we ought immediately to to be remembered; it may afford useful turn our whole attention to it, even though, admonition to young men, whose abilities in our peculiar position, we may not suphave been made for a time useless by their pose that it is a duty binding upon us. If passions for pleasures, and who having these two great principles were united, lost one part of life in idleness, are tempted how powerful would they be! to throw away the remainder in despair. ORIGIN of less consequence than DesBIBLE LANGUAGE.—At an examination
TINY.-When Philip Henry, the father of of a deaf and dumb school in London, the celebrated commentator, sought the some years ago, a little boy was asked in
hand of the only daughter and heiress of writing, “Who made the world ?" He took Mr. Mathew in marriage, an objection the chalk and wrote in answer,
66 In the was made by her father, who admitted beginning God created the heavens and
that he was a gentleman, a scholar, and the earth.” He was asked again, “Why an excellent preacher, but he was a strandid Jesus Christ come into the world ?" ger, and “they did not even know where he A smile lighted up the little fellow's coun- came from.” “True,” said the daughter, tenance as he wrote beneath, 6. This is a who had well weighed the excellent qualifaithful saying, and worthy of all accepta- ties and graces of the stranger, “but I tion, that Christ Jesus came into the
know where he is going, and I should like world to save sinners.” A third question to go with him." So they walked life's was put calculated to call forth his most pilgrimage together. painful feelings, “Why were you born
Printed by JOHN KENNEDY, at his Printing Office, 35, deaf and dumb, when I can hear and Portman Place, Maida Hill, in the County of Middlesex,
London. --September, 1861.
THE SOUL'S WELFARE.
THOUGHTS ON LUKE x. 20.
“But he willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?"
BY MR. FREDERICK STEVENSON, LOUGHBOROUGH.
It is impossible to imagine a more entire novelty than the Christian religion must have been, when it was first published in the world. There was but one nation in the world that had any conscience, that is, whose religion referred at all to right or wrong. That was the Jews. ' The other nations had religions, but they did not relate generally to moral questions at all. They had gods, but their gods were neither patrons of right in the general, nor representative specially of individual virtues. They were gods of particular times, events, places, families and races.—Gods of agriculture, of marriage, of war, of plenty, of discord, of beauty.-Gods of the river, the mountain, or the grove, of summer and of winter, of the east and the west, of day and night.-Gods of Troy or Egypt, of Greece or Rome-as it might be. They had their provinces, within the bounds of which they commanded the adoration of men; but beyond whose limits they were free from the claims to worship. They had their times of demanding homage, when it would be woe to any who neglected the tribute due: after which, they were consigned to forgetfulness with impunity by their most devoted worshippers. The man who adored Jupiter in Rome, worshipped Venus in Cyprus, Pallas at Athens, and Isis in Egypt. The devotee who propitiated Pluto yesterday, burnt his torch and scattered flowers at the altar of Hymen to-day, and sacrificed to Neptune for a fortunate voyage to-morrow. And all these gods were one in nothing, and good for nothing. Vicious in their charac-. ter, they envied and hated one another; fighting and triumphing; in perpetual contention; deceiving and being deceived. The gods being thus separated, men were infinitely separated. Religion being no bond of union, the universal and paramount bond of union was gone. Nation had no affinity with nation, man no brotherhood with man. Society was organized for war; the glory of empire was the power of destruction. Moral principle was annihilated. Religion was the farce of a craft. Government used it as a tool; the philosophers despised it as superstition : Seneca said, the highest point of existence was the extinction of an enemy. Socrates said, if you were searching for an honest man, you must take a lantern out at mid-day to find him. The domestic ties were loosened, almost lost. Slavery, personal, hereditary, agrarian, and domestic slavery, was everywhere. The world was filled with ranks and antipathies, it nowhere contained man and sympathy.
In the midst of this, I say, the Jews had some conscience. They had a notion of right and wrong. Their religion taught it. It taught the love of God and of our neighbour. Its law was one of unimpeachable truth and purity, and of imperishable obligation. Its formularies were full of imagery of the highest emblamatic beauty and
VOL. II. L
THOUGHTS ON LUKE X. 20.
the profoundest wisdom. But the evil hearts of the recipients were darkened, and selfishness reigned, as in the world without. It first excluded the Gentile from covenant mercy; then split Israel into class, and sect, and tribe, and school. The antisocial spirit of the external world found something within them: its fashions and slavery were becoming as common among them as in the heathen world without. One only custom remained to rescue thousands from perpetual bondage—the Jubilee : in waiting for whose trumpet dawn, myriads died of hope deferred. The law was trampled under foot, and neither God nor man was loved. The forms of religion had become symbols not understood—ceremonies turned into masks for hypocrites. So hating and oppressing, wrapped up in egotism and hard heartedness,—the Pharisee scorned the sinner, and the Jew had no dealing with the Samaritan,—the synagogue was the theatre of arrogance and impiety; and the great men devoured widows' houses, and for a pretence, made long prayers.
In the midst of this Jesus preached the Gospel. What did it tell? How could it be received ? Imagine one of His congregations ! In a Jerusalem crowd the first figure to be noticed would be the Pharisees, in foremost places, with robes carefully trimmed, and phylacteries amply spread out, glaringly legible and richly ornamented; imposing in mien, aristocratic in birth and bearing they towered above the lower populace, as the cedar towers above the bushwood and the furze. There would be the Scribe with his rolls of parchment, and the Levite in the livery of his order. The Sadducee also shrewd and cynical; the infidel of his day would be there listening, but not attempting to conceal his ridicule. Many foreigners would mingle in the crowd. There would be the Phenician merchant, and there the Athenian dandy in sporter's toga and alcibiades shoes, stopping his ear at the barbarian accent. Here and there would be a knot of Roman soldiers in their iron shirts, leaving off their game at dice, and elbowing up towards the speaker, with blant curiosity. But the great bulk of the crowd would consist of that class in society, always the most numerous, who bore burdens which their fathers never could have borne. Those who paid tax to the Roman, and tythe to the priest, who ate their bread in the sweat of their brow, but whose labour earned no wealth. Men whose fields were alienated, whose crops were mortgaged, whose children were slaves. But the speaker begins. “One is good, even God; all ye are brethren. Blessed are the poor, for by the spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. As ye would that man should do unto you, do ye even so to them. Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you. On this hang all the law and the prophets. Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thy self.” Here was doctrine audacious as treason spoken to a king's face, dangerous as a spark in a powder magazine, ---doctrine, any word of which as it tingled in the ears of the wretches who crouched in the crowd would be enough, one would think, to spring a mine of rebellion beneath the feet of their masters, in the explosion of which, the tyranny of the Roman and the election of the Jew would be abolished, the dominion of the master and the fetters of the slave snapt for ever. An earthquake or a total eclipse of the sun could not have surprised the senses of his auditors more, than this doctrine must have astonished their minds. No wonder that doctrine so startling should elicit opposition :—a little wonder perhaps, that being so self-evident it should be met by evasive queries, rather than by open contradiction. The old system did find a defender as it always does, though the earth groaned under the curse of it, some one profited by it and was ready to parry the assault which threatened to sweep away though by means no better than the enquiry, “And who is my neighbour ?" I shall now examine the state of mind out of which such an enquiry could originate.
THOUGHTS ON LUKE X. 20.
It is an error to imagine that depravity is confined in its influence to the affections. It is true it works a grievous ruin there--it poisons the sources of feeling, and dries up the springs of happiness. But it also deranges the judgment. Wickedness and insanity are more closely connected than we sometimes suppose. As a proof of its bad effect upon the intellect it inclines the mind to a negative condition—one in which no positive truth is sought for, in which the course of enquiry begins by scepticism. No enquiry can ever reach a true conclusion, or indeed a conclusion at all
, that does not start with some positive truth admitted, from that it may go on selecting fresh materials for belief treading step after step forward in the pathway of investigation, arranging one proposition after another in an order consistent with their mutual natures and revelations, until the truth is developed in the construction of an edifice that is solid, proportionate, harmonious, and indestructible. Now the negative temper of mind proceeds in quite a contrary fashion. Surrounded by objects of perception it begins to question the existence of one after another; those that are distant, small and obscure, are given up first—then matters long known and closely familiar, then the mode, and even the fact of consciousness itself. Thus doubt goes on in its devastating career emptying and rendering dark and naked the whole world of vision until the climax is obtained, and having doubted everything else the doubter doubts whether he doubts. And this independantly of the difficulties in the way of ascertaining the truth or of the uncertain nature of the subject under investigation; but from an inverted action in the mind, in fact an insanity arising out of its moral condition. It was so, clearly in the case of the querist in the text. A man tied by bonds of artificial strictness to those of his own class, and under obligations according to the law of Moses. At every family event to call to festival in his own house his relatives, could never for a moment in his own right mind doubt who were his neighbours. A rich man too, and unless the order of things was without any analogy to that now obtaining the question must have been the most unncessary one in the world, for however the poor, and the unfortunate may see occasion to upbraid their fellowcreatures for the want of sympathy and assistance, the rich seldom have to mourn the want of friends.
Again: the selfishness out of which the hollow question which served for an excuse sprang, is irrational.
The constant object of its search is happiness. But, in directing those under its influence in this pursuit, it makes them fix their grasp upon the means instead of the end. It points out wealth, or fame, or ease, as the point to be attainedwhereas, when these are possessed the goal is as far off as before, and the pilgrim halts in the desert with his staff in his hand, where no leaf gladdens his eye, and no stream refreshes his fainting life. He possesses the means but is without the end. Having imagined himself full, he finds in a scene thus fearful and desolate that he is miserable, and wretched, and blind, and naked.
It is also delusive. It teaches men to expect happiness by constant attention to self. To provide for one's self, to think of self, to care for self—is the way to be happy. This is a delusion! Those are happiest who think least of self. Whether it be in pursuit of art, or taste, or philanthropy, the happy and successful are they who forget self. The panting victim of this delusion ever struggles, but never conquers-chases the shadow, but ever returns from the pursuit empty handed. The worshippers of self are marked as the certain victims of ennui and dissatisfaction. For them there is regret in the past, uneasiness in the present, and fear in the future. But the moment self is forgotten, the moment the eye is turned off from the object it has been fixed with such covetous intensity, they embrace the prize which has before eluded them, spring smiles upon the heart that before was desolate, fountains murmur on either hand, flowers spring up under their feet and the attentions they bestow upon others, are returned into their own bosom full measure, pressed down -running over.
It is also a state of mind in which points of difference are observed, while those of similarity are overlooked. Although all men are marked by great characteristic qualities which establish an overwhelming identity in each member of the family, this disposition breaks up the grand integrity which rests upon this uniformity of nature, by Haws and exceptions small in comparison with great elements of unity, as spots in the sún. Reason, conscience, common susceptibilities, and common interests, these backed up by a sublime immortality in which all share equally—can these transcendant features of our fellowship be overlooked or counterbalanced by any trivial distinctions in the view of a man of sound mind? Yet the spirit of this inquiry separates immortal spirits by the colour of the skin, or the cut of a coat. The genial intercourse of kind
THOUGHTS ON JOHN IV. 36.
red minds, the sympathy that gives the strength of worlds to the cause of right, all the blessings that benevolence has to shed upon mankind must be left to the mercy of fashion and accident. No matter if I know your wants, and am able to supply them, Society says I must not know you. No matter if I possess the secret your life has been devoted to discover, we must not speak until we have been introduced. No matter if my heart yearns for your friendship, and overflows with admiration I must preserve a churlish sullenness, because you are not in my circle or of my creed. No matter if you perish at my door etiquette forbids me to take you in.
And it is conceited. It is a remarkable fact that this absence of sympathy is always felt in one direction towards our inferiors. However great the distance may appear between us and some others in the eyes of third parties the act of repudiation is never exercised towards those we consider above us. We are always ready to reciprocate the smiles that fall from the lofty region above us, we are all ear for the sweet voices that warble there, and activity for co-operation in the enterprizes we share with them The difficulty is to make our charity descend. It is in the circumstances in which social feeling becomes a virtue that we are tempted to refuse to exercise it. We squander useless but obsequious attentions on the rich, the frivolous and the happy, but we neglect the sick, we withhold our money from the man without money and will not be friends with him who has no friend. To find a friend and exchange a greeting in a grade of social status by one degree lower than our own, is a descent too awful for ordinary courage to encounter. The purple pew cannot shake hands with the form in the aisle, except upon the strongest compulsion of Christian principle, and if the struggle of feeling is overcome great is the secret congratulation over this triumph of grace. All our steps are hemmed round with a pharasaical cleanness which says—“Stand thou therehitherto shalt thou come but no further.” As for the crowd of our fellow creatures whom we know by their rags—who speak the dialect of the street—who have hunger, and vice, and ignorance, and want as their daily companions, they dwell at the bottom of an abyss which is dreadful to think of, and which it is not given to flesh and blood to fathom. Thus do the conceited of our race, while assuming the position of superiors belie its character and renounce its duties; and while ten thousand pleas for help and interference rise on every hand, and though they feel the pulses of a common heart accuse them every moment, coolly refute the appeal of mercy, with the miserable shuffle -_“And who is my neighbour.”
THOUGHTS ON JOHN iv. 36.
“And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal.”
BY. REV. W. PAYNE, CHESHAM.
The note of Doddridge is alike indicative of his Christian sagacity and philanthropy. “I apprehend our Lord's thought here, to have been more comprehensive, than commentators have been aware. He seems to compare the case of a considerate reaper who is supported in his fatigue, not only by a regard to his wages, but by the advantage which the public receives by the harvest he gathers in.” This is an interesting view to take of the passage, and of the agricultural labourer. It indicates faith in human goodness. It suggests that nobility of feeling belongs not to any class—that