Imagens das páginas


is to fly to the rescue of the falling and fallen. The Almighty flew, as it were, to the cry of David. His foot was at first tremulous; he felt that the ground on which he stood was moving; he cried for help, help! help!!! God, in His mercy, hastened to him, delivered him, and disappointed his enemy. "Satan," says Christ, "hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat; but I have prayed that your faith fail not." Christ teaches us, in language simple enough for a child to understand, the line of conduct which a shepherd would pursue, who, if one sheep out of a hundred, were to leave the fold: He says, "What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost until he find it?" Luke xv. 4. until he find it. He does not allow any consideration of folly or ingratitude in the strayed sheep, nor any slanderous and envenomed expressions to cause him to relax in his efforts. He scales the hills and mountains, he looks through the soothing and luxuriant valleys, and even fissures of the rocks, and the sterile plain; he is absorbed with one thought, one idea; he sees nothing, hears nothing, thinks of nothing but the lost sheep. Yes, he has lost a sheep-there is no time for any delay, there is no time to sit at ease and fold his arms-there are prowling wolves in the neighbourhood-the shades of night are fast approaching-the rays of the orb of day are hastening to sink below the horizon, and then the beasts of prey will awake from their slumbers and leave

Julia, on the Measure of Iniquity Unexpectedly, and Suddenly Filled.

Julia was, for her personal appearance the pride of the village which gave her birth: Her dark winning eye the regularity of her features, her Italian complexion,, occasionally tinged with a pinky flush :-her graceful figure and sprightly gait, won the admiration of the gay of both sexes;—and she was not a little proud to think that she was the belle of her native village and the surrounding neighbourhood:-she lost no opportunity of displaying her personal attractions :—and, my respected reader, I may just say, that many souls are thus disposed of; the admiration of the gay and frivolous too often leads to fatal indifference about the inward admonitions of conscience. The scales are completely turned :—the world approves and admires; the silent monitor within must be unheeded:-the strivings of the Holy Spirit must be disregarded, It is a most fearful thing to be in a state of enmity with God:-It is distinctly stated in the Sacred Scriptures "Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God," James iv. 4, and "if any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him," I John ii. 15.-Passages like the foregoing are by no means welcome to those who make the gaieties of life their study and pursuit.

Serious thoughts respecting the future were very rarely

entertained by Julia. If at any time, these, (to her) annoying intruders presented themselves, she would make all possible haste to have them chased away by the gay and fair; the theatre, the ball, the giddy dance, the midnight revel, and such other God-dishonouring, and souldestroying frivolities of life. The voice of the Redeemer, as he stood at the door of her heart, craving an entrance, was utterly disregarded;-there was no room in her heart for Christ;-it was preoccupied. But her measure of iniquity was at length filled;-the Holy Spirit withdrew his influences. The ingenuity, taste, and skill of the dress-maker, and milliner were being employed for the last time; soon, her gay attire was to be exchanged for the shroud; and her admirers turned into mourners. She had made up her mind to be one of a dancing party at the approaching wakes of a neighbouring village. The day arrived; and, after spending her usual time in adjusting the long flowing tresses of her hair, and attiring herself, and holding very agreeable communion with her graceful figure, and personal attractions at the mirror, she emerged from the toilet, wended her way to the village, where the wakes were being held, hastened with light and fairy step into the dancing room. She was of course unconscious of what had been transpiring in the court of heaven; but, her conduct had been discussed, her seconds had been numbered, and the precise spot of ground marked out where she was to receive the fatal arrow. Death had received his commission; and, as the dance was going on and the music

[ocr errors]

playing; the grim monster drew his bow, and, with unerring aim, and certainty shot the arrow into her vitals. The struggle was very brief, she lay on that floor in that room of the inn, and in the well-known and beautifully romantic village of E-a lifeless corpse.

How the scene is changed! the music and dancing cease; consternation, and tremour seize all present; with tremulous step they gather around the corpse of Julia. The flush of beauty still lingers; the last enemy has not taken away all the traces of attractiveness;-as though it were intended as the more striking warning. She was carried home; thence, in due time and form, to the place appointed to receive her mortal remains. Here we must leave her, conjectures are as needless as profitless; but the warning comes to us invested with all the dread realities of eternity. I presume that there are not very many who would deliberately wish to encounter their last enemy in the tavern, the theatre, or the ball-room; nor do I think that many would wish for death to come while under the influence of inebriating drinks.-yet some have thus wantonly played the game of death. At a large village not far from Julia's residence, a case of this sort transpired: W. H. kept a large commercial inn, he contracted the besotting, reason-dethroning, Goddishonouring, and soul-destroying habit of drinking to excess. A few days before his death, a friend said to him; H-"you'll kill yourself with rum-drinking." H. rejoined, "I mean it." I think this was on the Friday; and, on the Sunday following, he was summoned

to appear before the Judge of quick and dead.

On the


Monday, dreadful to relate !-a number of persons were drinking rum in the same house for a wager. H. I knew well. I made an entry of it at the time. "He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." Prov. xxix. 1. Some may please to say that such parties are very daring, bold, and courageous;-I deny that there is any real courage about it;—but that such conduct is the madness of cowardice,-no rightly minded individual will deny. The man that dare not sin is courageous: Joseph was courageous;-see Gen. xxxix. 9. While we deplore the sad fate of many who may have brought themselves to a premature grave; let us learn the all-important lesson of so attending to our immortal part, in the fear of God, and by the strength of grace,that, when our turn to die shall come ;—we may have nothing to do, but to gather up our feet and sink into the arms of Jesus. Let us no longer be the slaves of procrastination. That is a solemn admonition contained in Eccl. ix. 10, 11. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest." Every day brings with it its own duties and obligations and he is truly wise for both worlds who defers not till to-morrow what he can and ought to do to-day. The first duty which every day brings with it, is personal religion;-and, in proportion as this first, grand, and eternally important obligation is discharged,

« AnteriorContinuar »