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perfect wisdom goodness and power, who governs all creatures, and controls all events;
and will cause every occurrence to contribute to the ultimate happiness of his faith ful children. Hence arises a degree of fortitude and constancy to humble Christians, which no circumstance can weaken or destroy.
The righteous know in whom they have trusted, and their faith will preserve them from confusion and dismay. When the storms of adversity gather thick about them, they retire within the sanctuary that religion affords, and the waves of trouble roll unheeded by "The floods have lifted up their waves; but the Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters ;-Yea, than the mighty waves of the sea." Sheltered under the wings of infinite love, and protected by Almighty power, they have no cause for anxiety or distrust. They experience a calm serenity and joy within, while trepidations and anxiety and distress reign among them, who do not rest their confidence on the rock of eternal ages. The Christian is not only relieved in this manner from the terrors of approaching evils; -but even supposing they do fall on him with their heaviest pressure, still there are innumerable consolations, which alleviate his anguish, and to which others are strangers.
When their most flattering prospects are blasted;-when the hand of Providence comes near and strips them of their worldly possessions and enjoy
ments;-to whom shall bad men look for consolation and support, under the calamities with which they are visited? They have no resources within themselves. In their misfortunes they discover nothing but a wild and fortuitous combination of events, without or der, and without design;-or else they perceive the hand of an offended sovereign stretched out to inflict merited punishment on their sins.
When this world fails them, all their hopes of enjoyment are lost forever. The objects of their firmest confidence have disappeared, and they have nothing on which to rest their anxious minds. But the Christian is enabled to view those afflictions as the merciful corrections of a kind and tender parent. He looks forward and perceives the purposes for which they were sent. Taught by his religion to withdraw his attachment and confidence from the possessions and pleas ures and the honours of the world, he is enabled to contemplate their loss with comparative indifference and compos ure. He views this life as a temporary scene of necessary and perhaps severe discipline; and applying to himself the promises of the gospel, he can, under all his trials, cordially join in the declaration of the apostle. The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory, which shall be revealed.
If his pious friends, the companions of his joy are cut off from the earth-he does not, it is true, remain insensible un
THERE is an unspeakable satisfaction, that arises to the mind of every good man from that affection and love, which he possesses for the Almighty, the perfect Governor of the universe, He is overwhelmed with the reflection that he is the child of a parent so good, so wonderful, so vast and incomprehensibly powerful and wise and perfect. In every condition of life he feels that he is under the inspection of that eye, which is ever watchful over his happiness, his improvement and his virtue; however dark and mysterious and distressing are the ways of Providence,still no occurrence can shake his confidence in the rectitude and goodness of a supreme administration, that will render all events subservient to the interests of virtue and the ultimate good of mankind He feels a peculiar and deep interest in all the works of GOD, on account of the
Hence light springeth up for the righteous in the midst of darkness the evils of life are infinitely diminished, by the fortitude which Christianity inspires and the consolation it affords, and which are. wholly unknown to the wicked. A.
RELIGION HAS PLEASURES PECULIAR TO ITSELF.
tender relation he sustains toward him If he survey the beauty and harmony of the natural world, which so wonderfully manifests the power, the wisdom and the goodness of its Creator;"if he turn his eyes toward the moral system and observes a higher order of things and a greater exertion of Divinity in adjusting the plan of Providence; in bringing light from darkness, and good from evil;—in causing the most unconnected and contrary events to co-operate in one great end, and making all to issue in the general good ;-if he contemplate the plan of redemption and behold in the gospel of Christ the power of God unto salvation, to every one who believeth; when he surveys all these, he can lift up his eyes and with grateful admiration exclaim, 66 my Father made them all.”
To these we may add, the pleasures that result from the
prospect of that future and im mortal state, which remain. eth for the people of God, when the labours and the trials of this world are past. In a little while the long shadows of the evening will be chased away and the darkness of the night shall be dispelled by that sun which shall rise to cheer us with the light of everlasting day.
Then shall all the righteous be gathered together in one vast assemblage, and no tears, nor sorrows, nor distress will detract from their joys. Then shall they know even as they are known, and dwell forever in the presence of their GoD and REDEEMER.
Such a prospect disarms adversity of its sharpest stings, and it is a consolation which Christianity only can afford. It is what mankind had long and vainly sought to obtain by the feeble light of reason; but which no human exertion could ever discover; and of which, mankind must have forever remained uncertain and unsatisfied, had not Jesus Christ appeared in our world to bring life and immortality to light, and to render it consistent with the perfections of God to bestow this invaluable gift on ruined man.
We have thus considered the influence which the religion of Jesus Christ has up. on cur happiness in the present life only, independent of its power to render us eternally happy in that future world, whither we are rapidly hastening. In the latter view of the subject, every person who is. Vol. VI. No. 11. 43*
capable of comparing the peri od of human existence, with eternity; or, of perceiving the difference between the pains of hell and the happiness of heaven, will immediately acknowledge that the sincere Christian would be an infinite gainer,even on the supposition, that his religion rendered him perfectly miserable through
How strong then are its claims to our grateful acceptance and admiration, on account of its tendency to produce our greatest happiness here as well as hereafter. It is true there are difficulties and discouragements incident to the Christian life; we are sometimes called upon to sacrifice our feelings; we have many evil propensities to eradicate; and there are many obstacles to be overcome in our religious course. But our greatest pleasures frequently result from the activity and exertion, which are requisite to enable us to overcome obstacles that oppose our progress in some favourite pursuit. The value we attach to any object, is usually propor tioned to the difficulties we have experienced in acquiring them. And we are assured that God is ever ready to bestow that assistance which is necessary to enable us to triumph over those obstacles, which our corrupt natures and an evil world may present.➡ But it must be recollected that these difficulties and sacrifices are not exclusively confined to the man of religion. The man of the world is frequently
required to make greater sacrifices of his time, his property, his health, his feelings and his enjoyments, than ever fall to the lot of the disciples of christianity.
So that if you, make the most favourable allowances possible for the world, it must be acknowledged that the difficulties and burthens it imposes, are as great as those imposed by religion But the real happiness produced by a life of piety, infinitely exceeds all that can be attained in any other course. For the true satisfaction and happiness of the mind can only be found in
THE WANDERING ARABS.
THE following sketches of the character, customs and religion of the Wandering Arabs on the Desart of Africa are extracted from Capt Jas. Riley's "Authentic Narrative"-a very interesting work and one which, on many accounts, is deserving of the patronage of the public. Having described Zahahrah, or the great Western desart of Africa, the writer proceeds to an account of the inhabitants, from which the following abridgement is made.
a life of active goodness, of picty and religion, proceeding from a pure heart, a good conscience and from faith unfeigned. Let this representation of religion induce us to take upon ourselves the yoke of Christ
that is, to join ourselves to him as his disciples; not merely in profession, but in heart and in truth; by obedience to his commands, by imitating his example and trusting to him for our salvation; that thus we may obtain true honour and peace and respectability in this world, and everlasting joy in the world to A.
"Nearly all parts of this vast desert are inhabited by different tribes of Arabs, who live entirely on the milk of their camels, and wander from valley to valley, travelling nearly every day for the sake of finding food for their camels, and consequently food for themselves. They live in tents formed of cloth made of
camel's hair, which they pull off by hand, and spin with a hand spindle. Each family has a mat which serves as a bed for the whole. They lie down on it promiscuously, only wrapped up in their haick or blanket, if they have oneif not, in the skin which covers their loins only, and lie close together to keep off the cold winds which blow under their tents in the night The children lie between the grown persons Their heads are as low, and frequently low. er than their feet; and their long bushy hair, which is never combed, and resembles a thrumb mop, serves them instead of a pillow. The families consist of the father and one or more wives, and the children that are unmarried, and their slaves, who are black.
"The rich Arabs have one,
two, or three slaves, male and female; these are allowed to sleep on the same mat with their masters and mistresses, and are treated in all respects like the children of the family in regard to apparel, &c. they are not however permit ted to cohabit with the Arab women under pain of death, and are obliged to take care of the camels and follow them, and to do other drudgery. The father of the family is its absolute chief in all 'respects, though he seldom inflicts purishment. His wives and daughters are considered, as mere slaves, subject to his will and caprice; yet they take every opportunity to decieve or steal from him. He deals out the milk with his own hand, nor dare any one touch it until it is thus divided.
this done, as if they washed with water, they stand erect, facing towards the east-wrap themselves up as neatly as they can with their blankets or skins; they look up to wards heaven, and then bow their heads, bending their bodies half way to the ground, twice crying aloud at each time, Allah Hooakibar. They next kneel down, and support-/ ing themselves with their hands, they worship, bowing their faces in the dust, twice. successively; then, being still on their knees, they bend themselves forward, nearly to the ground, repeating Hi et Allah-Sheda Mohammed-Rasool Allah; then rising, they again repeat Allah Hooakibar, two or three times'; and this is the common mode of worshipping four times a day. In addition to this at sunsetting, they implore the Almighty to send rain to moisten the parched earth; to cause the food to grow for their camels; to keep them under his special care, with their families and tribes; to enrich them with the spoils of their enemies, and to confound and destroy them that seek their hurt; They thank the Almighty for his past mercies, for food, raiment and his protection, &c.
They then repeat part of a chapter from the Koran, in which God's pretended prom ises to the faithful are made known by their Prophet; and repeating at all times the Hi el Allah, or "Great is the Almighty God, and Moham med is his holy prophet.”.... Their times of prayer, are