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THE CHOLERA A VISITATION OF GOD.

261

given into the custody of every father of a family. My Mother's voice ! It sounds as when
And we are persuaded that if there be one thing on She read to me of holy men-
this earth which, more than another, draws the sor-

The Patriarchs of old;
rowing regards of the world of spirits, it must be the
system of education pursued by the generality of

And gazing downward in my face, parents. The entering a room gracefully is a vast

She seem'd each infant thought to trace, deal more attended to than the entering into heaven;

My young eyes told. and you would conclude that the grand thing for which God had sent the child into the world, was It comes when thoughts unhallow'd throng, that it might catch the Italian accent, and be quite Woven in sweet deceptive songat home in every note of the gamut. Christianity,

And whispers round my heart indeed, is not at variance with the elegancies of life; she can use them as her handmaids, and give them

As when, at eve, it rose on high; a beauty of which, out of her service, they are utterly

I hear, and think that she is nigh, destitute. We wage no war, therefore, with accom

And they depart. plishments, any more than with the solid acquirements of a liberal education. We are only anxious

Though round my heart, all, all besideto press on you the necessity that ye make religion the basis of your system. We admit, in all its

The voice of friendship, love, had diedbreadth, the truth of the saying, that knowledge is

That voice would linger there, power. It is power-ay, a fatal power, and a peril As when, soft pillow'd on her breast, ous. Neither the might of armies nor the scheming Its tones first lull'd my infant rest, of politicians avails any thing against this power.

Or rose in prayer. The schoolmaster, as we have already hinted, is the grand engine for revolutionizing a world. Let knowledge be generally diffused, and the fear of God be

THE CHOLERA A VISITATION OF GOD. kept in the background, and you have done the same for a country as if you had laid the gunpowder under The Christian acknowledges the hand of God in its very institution; there needs only the igniting every affliction; that sickness and death are, in each of a match, and the land shall be strewed with the instance, ordered by Him. But men in general do fragments of all that is glorious and venerable. But, not recognise an overruling Providence except in some nevertheless, we would not have knowledge chained wide-spread calamity. Yet even the most thoughtup in the college and monastery, because its arm is legs must be impressed with the feeling that the endowed with such sinew and nerve. We would not epidemic, now prevailing in this city and elsewhere, put forth a finger to uphold a system which we be- is a visitation from God. There are several reasons lieved based on the ignorance of a population. We for this impression. only desire to see knowledge of God advance as the I The specific cause of cholera is unknown. Proxvanguard of the host of information. We are sure imate or predisposing causes are quite obvious. But that an intellectual must be a mighty peasantry. no investigation has yet been able to detect the cause But we are equally sure that an intellectual and a of this terrible disease; no medical authority has godless will demonstrate their might, by the ease yet defined its nature. The fact that an invisible, with which they crush whatever most adorns and unknown agent is working death on all sides, strikes elevates a kingdom. And in speaking to you in the mind with awe of a Higher Power. dividually of your duties as parents, we would bring The remedy for cholera, if there is a specific reinto the family circle the principles thus announced medy, is equally unknown. Taken in its earlier as applicable to the national. We want not to set stages, in the period called cholerine, it is a managebounds to the amount of knowledge which you strive able disease, and physicians undertake cases with a to impart. But never let this remembrance be swept good degree of confidence. But there is no agreefrom your minds, that, to give a child knowledge, ment among them as to the treatment of a patient without endeavouring, at the same time, to add to in the state of collapse. There is not merely that knowledge godliness, is to do your best to throw the diversity of treatment which always exists under momentum of the giant into the arm of the idiot; different theories of disease, but that greater diverto construct a machinery which may help to move a sity which exists where there is no theory, no settled world, and to leave out the spring wbich would in principle, no knowledge, no guide. The highest sure its moving it only towards God.-H. Melville. medical authorities here confess their ignorance.

They do not venture to attribute the recovery of a patient in this stage to their treatment; they say of

him “ he got well," not that "he was cured." They MY MOTHER'S VOICE.

state the facts in books and lectures, but do not draw

from them a theory. This confessed inability of My Mother's voice! I hear it now!

those to whom we confide ourselves in sickness to I feel her hand upon my brow

grapple with this “ monster malady," makes us feel As when, in heartfelt joy,

tbat we are in the hands of God. She raised her evening hymn of praise,

This feeling is deepened by the mortality of cholera

cases. Even in the milder type of the disease at the And call d down blessings on the days

present season, the deaths by cholera in this city Of her loved boy.

have averaged fifty per cent. of the cases; and if in

reporting cases the line should be drawn between My Mother's voice! I hear it now'

cholerine and cholera asphyxia, the proportion of Her hand is on my burning brow

deaths from cholera proper would be greatly in

creased. This makes us feel that God has comAs in that early hour,

missioned the angel of death. When fever throbb'd through all my veins,

The suddenness of the attack, and the rapidity And that kind hand first sooth'd my pains, with which death follows in this disease, bring us to With healing power.

realize that in God's hand “our breath is.

The fact that the cholera ordinarily comes as a | boldly upon change. He glides into the dimness of rebuke for the transgression of some law of our phy- the counting-house. He steps into the workshop. sical or nioral nature, as the consequence of some He goes out upon the farm. The theatre, the ballimprudence or exposure, and more commonly of excess and debauchery, renders it a voice of warning

room, the race-course, and the tavern, are all peculifrom God, and a token of His retributive justice.

arly the scenes of his most successful transactions. The 'extent to which it paralyses business, by It is the buyer of souls. spreading alarm through the community, and caus- He has various prices in his inferpal traffic. He ing the place of its presence to be shunned-though bought a soul, in one case, for thirty pieces of silver. such alarm is excessive, and sometimes even ground.

He has bought some, we fear, for less. But for a less-brings men to feel the hand of God touching their plans and treasures, and humbling their hearts.

larger price, for inestimable wealth, for countless We might speak also of the uncertainty of the pro

riches, for heaps that will shine and glitter in men's gress of this epidemic, and its wonderful diffusive eyes, O, how many have exchanged their souls ! And ness; but enough has been said to illustrate the then for fame and applause, the noisy breath of the remark that the cholera is a visitation of God. But

multitude, and for guilty, transient, unsatisfying while we distinctly recognise that fact, it should occasion us no anxiety, no apprehension. We should

pleasures, how many more have bartered their imbe able to think of God as on our right hand and on

mortal spirits ! our left, without being terrified. We should walk We are about to relate the history of one exchange. softly before Him, we should fear to offend Him, Some years since, the writer sat in the midst of a we should be still and know that He is God-but we weeping congregation. It was the middle of the should feel that He before whom goeth the pesti

week, but the Spirit of God was abroad upon the lence is our Father, reconciled through Jesus Christ. Our chief solicitude as Christians at such a time

hearts of the people, and they came willingly to the should be for souls that are ready to perish, and our sanctuary of God. It was solemn without the walls prayers should be for them that God would withhold of the old church, for an ancient forest waved around His judgments and renew His converting grace.-In it, and hard by the dust of our fathers was sleeping; dependent.

and solemn within, for God's Spirit brooded over the

vast assembly. A young and earnest servant of A PRESCRIPTION FOR SUDDEN DISEASE.

Christ was addressing them, and well do I remember PREVENTION is not all that wisdom suggests at any how the hearts of all were thrilled, and how their time, especially at a time like this. It becomes us tears started, at the narration of the following sad to prepare for a form of sickness, perhaps of death,

tale. which may come at any day or hour. There is in Isaiah a prescription worthy of universal regard.

“A few years ago," said he, “there was living in “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unright one of our large cities, a young lady, who was the eous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the only child of wealthy and worldly parents. She was Lord, and he will have mercy upon him: and to our fond of the gay pleasures of the city, and plunged in. God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Forsaking of

to them with all the enthusiasm of youth. Her gaiety, wicked ways, whether they are the ways of the inebriate, the libertine, the Sabbath-breaker, the pro

youth, and wealth, were sure passports to the highfane swearer, or whatever ways of sin, is indispensable

est circles of fashion, and there she lived as though to a suitable preparation for sickness or death in any there were no higher world. form. Turning unto the Lord, who “ will have mer | “While thus living in pleasure, she was asked one cy and abundantly pardon," is the best of all security

evening by a female friend to accompany her to the in every hour of need.

weekly prayer-meeting in a church of the city. There | And the hour of need may be very near. It may be the present hour. While you are reading this, the

the Spirit of God met her, and awakened in her the destroyer may be at your door. Have peace with consciousness of sin, and bowed down her heart in God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and if disease in anguish at the thought of her guilt. Her heaviness its most terrific form shall come, your peace will be of spirit was soon discovered at home, and her parents of essential service in enabling you to throw off the

were in consternation lest their beautiful daughter malady. If that cannot be done, then surely you

should leave the circles of pleasure for the service of will need, all the more, for the dying hour, the peace which will enable you to say, “O death, where is

God. They besought her and commanded her to rethy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"

turn to the gay world. They surrounded her with There is an appointed time of dying for all. If we her fashionable friends. But there was a power have the needed preparation for death and what is

above theirs at work, and she was still stricken in beyond it, we need not be solicitous about the means

heart. At last those parents actually bribed her to which our heavenly Father appoints to remove us from the earth. If the passage of Jordan is rugged

attend a large party of pleasure, by the gift of the and dark, it may be quick. If we arrive at the blessed richest dress that could be purchased in the city. She haven of eternal rest, it will matter little to us reluctantly consented - went to the festival, and rewhether we were wafted by gentle winds, or were turned without one trace of her religious emotions. driven there in a tornado.-N. Y. Evangelist.

She had put out the light of grace.

“But the joy of her miserable parents was short. THE PRICE OF A SOUL.

In another week their daughter was at the point of THERE is a buyer in the markets of the world whose death, and the skilful physicians they summoned, in name is never in the newspapers, and whose bids are their alarm, could only tell them that there was no never in the prices current. Nevertheless, his busi- hope. ness is widely extended, and pursued with ceaseless “When this opinion was made known to the dying activity. He chaffers in the open street. He walks girl, she lay for a few minutes in perfect silence : THE MADAGASCAR MARTYRS.

263

Her soul seemed to be surveying the past, and look communion with God, and study of my own heart, ing into the awful future. Then rousing herself, she ought to prepare me for the awful work of a mesordered a servant to bring that dress and hang it up. senger from God on the business of the soul !-Henry on the post of her bed. She next sent for her father | Martyn. and mother. In a few minutes they stood weeping CALLING ON DIFFERENT PEOPLE.-—What shall I think at her side. She looked upon each of them for a time, on my death-bed of all these opportunities of warning and then lifting up her hand, and pointing to the sinners ? O may the Lord seal upon my soul such dress, said to each of them distinctly, and with the a compassionate sense of their danger, that I may terrible calmness of despair, Father, mother, there is never have a heart to talk triflingly with them!-Ibid. the price of my soul.'” O wbat a disastrous exchange was that! A pre

WHEN MAY DAILY PRAYER BE cious soul, with all its hopes and aspirations, its im

NEGLECTED? mortal powers, and high endowments, for a dress.

If there be any day in which we are quite certain How infatuated those guilty parents! How full of

that we shall meet with no trial from Providence, no fearful danger is the strife against the Holy Ghost! temptation from the world--any day in which we

Reader, what is the price for which thou art part shall be sure to have no wrong tempers excited in ing with thy soul ?

ourselves, no call to bear with those of others, Do

misfortune to encounter, and no need of Divino asFOR MINISTERS.

sistance to endure it-on that morning we may safely PRAYER FOR THE PEOPLE.-He who is more fre

omit prayer.

If there be an evening in which we have received quently in the pulpit before his people than he is in

no protection from God, and experienced no mercy his closet for his people, is but a sorry watchman. at his hands; if we have not neglected a single opDr Conder.

portunity of doing or receiving good; if we are quite SOLEMNITY AND FERVOUR.---Let the saying of the

certain that we have not once spoken unadvisedly ancients be remembered, “ He who trifles in the pul

with our lips, nor entertained one vain or idle

thought in our heart-on that night we may safely pit shall weep in hell;" and the modern saying, omit to praise God, and to confess our own sinful“ Cold preachers make bold sinners.”—Mather. ness; on that night we may safely omit humiliation Be Faithful.-Brethren, you will shortly appear

and thanksgiving.-Hannah More. before an impartial God; see that ye be impartial stewards. Take the same care, manifest the same

PRAYER-MEETINGS. love, attend with the same diligence to the poorest It is very important that a prayer-meeting should and weakest souls that are committed to your care. not be wearisome. Such prayer meetings will be as you do to the rich, the great, the honourable. Re

not merely uninviting, but repulsive ; and what is member that all souls are rated at one value in your

worse, in those who attend it may destroy the spirit

of prayer, and induce a habit of contented mockery! Master's book, and your Redeemer paid as much for

A prayer-meeting should be conducted with spirit. the one as for the other. Civil differences must be A dull and heavy mode of conducting a meeting will civilly acknowledged; but these have no place in our make it dull and heavy. The person conducting the spiritual administrations. Flavel.

meeting should be prepared. No time should be lost

in turning over leaves. A passage of Scripture, STUDY THE BIBLE.-One capital error in men's

short, and selected for point and impressiveness, preparing themselves for the sacred function is, that should be read ; and a few verses, selected in like they read divinity more in other books than in the manner, should be sung. Any remarks should be Scriptures.-Bishop Burnet.

pertinent and brief. On this point every one should Use METAPHORS JUDICIOUSLY.-Mr Keach's work

examine himself carefully and unsparingly ; for we

do not tell to each other our faults ; and we shall on Scriptural Metaphors has done more to debase

not, without painstaking and impartiality, suspect the taste of both preachers and people than any other our own faults. A prayer-meeting should be confinwork of the kind. Metaphors should be used spar ed carefully within its limited time. It is far better ingly and with judgment.-Dr A. Clarke.

that people leave a meeting remarking that it has

| broken up too soon, than that it has been held too Divine INFLUENCE.-If there be a truth in Scrip

long. In case different members of a meeting conture explicit and decided, it is this, that the success

duct it in turns, the member should be named at the of the ministry of the gospel in the conversion of preceding meeting, that he may be present and premen is the consequence of Divine influence; and if pared. Variety may thus be given. These are small there be a well-ascertained fact in ecclesiastical story,

matters ; but small things do not always produce it is, that no great and indisputable effects of this

small consequences. kind have been produced but by men who have acknowledged this truth, and gone forth in humble de

THE MADAGASCAR MARTYRS. pendence upon that promised co-operation contained FOURTEEN Christians in Madagascar, who, during in the words—“ And lo! I am with you alway, even the persecutions there, had spent two wretched years to the end of the world."- Richard Watson. as fugitives in the mountains, determined to go to

How careful should I and all be, in our ministry, | the seaside and sail to Mauritius. On their way they not to break the bruised reed! Alas! do I think were taken prisoners, and conducted to the city. that a schoolboy, a raw academic, should be likely | A deeply interesting circumstance transpired as to lead the hearts of men ? What a knowledge of these Christians were on their way to the capital, men, and acquaintance with the Scriptures, what after being apprehended. On reaching the town of Beferona, a guard was set upon them. They were afflicting hand, or summoned suddenly to pass through told that their manner of travelling was suspicious, I

some peculiarly painful ordeal, wonder is expressed, and not like that of other people, having lanterns at

and certain feelings, half-choked by emotion, are

vented, because the minister “has not once called," night, and striking into unusual paths. Three days

when in fact he was totally ignorant of the paintul successively they underwent examination; and, on dispensation, and knew not but that the family were the third, they resolved to witness the good confes- | as happy and as well as when last he saw them in his sion, and therefore made the following declaration, pastoral rounds. Such individuals forget the way in through Adriamanena, one of their number, whom

which the New Testament churches acted on similar they had appointed as their spokesman: “Since you

occasions. They overlook the injunction of heaven!

in the case, “ Is any among you sick ? let him call, ask us again and again, we will tell you. We are not

for the elders of the church." Where this command banditti nor murderers : we are (impivavaka) pray is neglected, instead of wondering at the non-appear. ing people; and if this make us guilty in the kingdom | ance of the pastor, the parties' own want of consi. of the queen, then, whatever the queen does, we submit deration ought to be the subject of the deepest amazeto suffer.” “Is this, then,” said the interrogator,

ment.-A. M. Stalker. “your final reply, whether for life or for death?" “ It is our final reply," they said, “ whether for life or death."

THE SABBATH. “Who," asked the examiner,“sent you from Tanana | THE Sabbath is old as the creation. Let me feel rivo ?” “No one," they replied, “we went forth of our the reverence due to an institution so originated and own free-will," After the Christians made these de

of such antiquity; and let me take an especial iesclarations, it is said that they felt inexpressible peace

son from the use to which it was appointed by God.

He rested from the labours of the preceding week. and joy. They had prayed; they had confessed Christ;

O that I could make the day thus set apart, and for and now that concealment was at an end, and they such a purpose, a day of holy rest from the secularicould freely open their overburdened hearts, they ties and cares of our everyday world! Thereby I said to each other, “Now we are in the situation of should at once both sanctify and enjoy it, making it Christian and Faithful when they were led to the a day alike of pleasure and profit to my soul. But city of Vanity Fair.” And so it proved, when a ma

for this end let my conversation be in heaven-let

my pleasure lie in communion with God. Quicken jority of them underwent the martyr's death after | me, o Lord! with a gense and perception of the things the example of Faithful.

of faith.-Dr Chalmers.

HALL'S OPINION OF MISS EDGEWORTH.

WHENCE AND WHITHER. “ Miss EDGEWORTH," says Robert Hall," is the most

When Philip Henry, the father of the celebrated irreligious writer I ever read; not so much from any

commentator, sought the hand of the only daughter direct attacks she makes on religion, as from a uni- and heiress of Mr Matthews in marriage, an objecversal and studied omission of the subject. In her tion was made by her father. who admitted that he writings you meet a high strain of morality. She

was a gentleman, a scholar, and an excellent delineates the most virtuous characters, and represents them in the most affecting circumstances in

preacher; but he was a stranger, and “they did not life, in distress, in sickness, and even in the imme

even know where he came from,” “True," said the diate prospect of eternity, and finally sends them off daughter, who had well weighed the excellent qualithe stage with their virtue unimpaired-and all this ties of the stranger, “but I know where he is going, without the remotest allusion to religion. She does and I should like to go with him;" and they walked not directly oppose religion, but makes it appear un

life's pilgrimage together. necessary, by exhibiting a perfect virtue without it. No works ever produced so bad an effect on my own mind. I did not expect to find any irreligion in Miss

THE CHRISTIAN'S TRUST. Edgeworth's writings. I was off my guard; their moral character disarmed me. I read nine volumes

Trust in God though you are in darkness, though of them at once; but I could not preach with any

you see no light; this is light before light, pardon comfort for six weeks after reading them. I never before pardon. Trust God in temptations, and you felt so little ardour in my profession, or so little in are above temptations while you groan under the i terest in religion. She was once called to account burden of them. Trust God in weakness, and you ! for the character of her works, and asked her reasons are strong. Paul in such a case besought the Lord for representing a mere ideal morality, without at

thrice, and was answered with this (2 Cor. xii. 9): tributing any influence to religion. She said, that “My grace" (not thy grace)" is sufficient for thee, if she had written for the lower classes, she should for my strength is made perfect in weakness." (He' have recommended religion; but that she had written does not say, thy weakness is perfected unto, for a class for whom it was less necessary. How ab

strength). This satisfied Paul, and he exclaims, in surd! She seemed to think that the virtues of the

the next words, “ Most gladly, therefore, will I higher orders of society stand in no need of religion, rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of and that it was only designed as a curb and a muzzle Christ may rest upon me."-Caryl. for the brute."

DYING WORDS OF POPE PIUS V. COMMON UNREASONABLENESS. It is said of Pius Quintus, that when dying he cried SOME Cbristians occasionally speak as if their pastor

out in despair : “When I was in low condition, I had should know. by intuition, every current event in their some hopes of salvation; when I was advanced to be history. Hence should they themselves, or any mem. / a cardinal, I greatly doubted it; but since I came ber of their family, be unexpectedly laid under God's | to the popedom, I have no hope at all."

THE CHRISTIAN TREASURY.

265

THE MERCY OF GOD.

BY THE LATE REV. WALTER PATERSON, KIRKURD.*

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man hovering about the Redeemer's steps, will ten

his thoughts; and let bim return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will thousand spirits of darkness and evil, in a moabundantly pardon." - Isa. Iv. 7.

inent at once so critical and perilous, flap their | It is a remarkable circumstance, that the two bat-like wings between the trembling soul and

passions which exercise the greatest influence the countenance of God, in the full assurance on our conduct, in regard to the life which now that if they suffer us but once to behold the is, namely, hope and fear, are likewise most face of the Father, as it is seen in Christ, we prominently called into action by the cares of are for ever lost to Satan and to hell. And no the spiritual world. They seem, indeed, to sooner is one of them driven away than another have their proper field, and full range, for the fills up his place, with a change of forin and expansion of their capabilities in the contem- aspect suited to the sioner's changing case, and plation of eternity alone; and just inasmuch hovering right before his eye, in whatever as they fall short of heaven on the one side, and direction he seeks to lay hold on the mercy of

hell on the other, or the uttermost that either the Lord. The self same spirit of lies which, i the mercy or the wrath of God can do to an in his days of ease and carelessness, represented

immortal soul, are they defrauded of their his sins as harmless, trivial, and far beneath the natural food, and curtailed of the aim for which notice of the Divine eye, will now dash them they were contrived. Hence are the Scriptures with such a depth of crimson that no hyssop chiefly made up of promises and threatenings, can wash them out; and the same foul fiend that, merely grazing as it were the present who before spake of no attribute in the divine | world in their course, have their aim and ful- nature but mercy-who for all the hesitations filment in the infinite beyond the grave. and compunctions of bis human dupe bad

It is a besetting sin of our nature, however, always the same drivelling answer ready in his that we are slow in gathering fear from the mouth, God is merciful—will now talk of no darkest forms of futurity, or hope from its attribute but his inviolable holiness, justice, and brightest visions; and still more remarkable truth, and of no passion but his anger, with i perhaps is that perverseness of disposition, that treasures of tribulation and anguish for every hurries at one time our trust in the mercy of soul of man that doeth evil. All the while, God, and at another the alarms of an awakened moreover, is the inborn spirit of unbelief just conscience, to a dangerous excess. It is the as busy in the sinner's own bosom, persuading will of God that we shall use all diligence in

hat we shall use all diligence in him that he is not in all God's thoughts-and working out our salvation with fear and trem- that, weary with the long waste of words, disbling, rejoicivg in “ the lively hope to which cipline, and tenderness, the Lord hath given him we have been begotten through the resurrection over to waste, in turn, his tears upon the desert, of Christ from the dead;” and in the assurance and sow the wind with his vain complaints. that, all the while, it is the Spirit of God who! The frequency and fervour indeed with which worketh in us to will and to do of his good i the assurances of divine mercy are repeated pleasure. But just as, at one time, the father and pressed upon our notice in Scripture, are of lies lulls us into the belief that we can be at once a proof of its own abundance, and of saved without Christ, so do we allow him, in

our slowness to believe in its sufficiency. No our moments of fear, to persuade us that we devil surely can make us believe that God does cannot be saved, even with him. For at no not know his own mind; and just from his own moment of life is the arch enemy of God and Word, and from his own Spirit, do we derive mankind more busy with our ears, than just the most solemn assurances, confirmed even in when he sees us, for the first time, turning many instances with oaths, that he has grace | round to the mercy of the Father manifested sufficient for our uttermost need, and mercy in in the Son, and with the very same hope that store for the chief of sinners. Need we go in the fulness of time kept him continually farther than the precious passage which is at * From a paper furnished by the lamented author to the

this moment under our eye? Its words are “Christian's Daily Companion."

addressed to the wicked and the unrighteous of

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