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together in the shape of walls, and placing pieces of wood across, to keep this spot of ground to yourself. When you took the stones and wood, you knew very well I had as much right to them as yourself: so, whatever trouble you have taken, you did it at your own peril. I shall come in whenever I like; I am free to walk where I please. I shall move away the stones or wood as boldly as you moved them hither: we are all equal in rights.”
Property, then, cannot stand without laws. He that wishes for no property, may set out immediately to seek some country where there are no laws. But he who wishes to have a field or house that he can call his own, or a table, or a chair, or a coat, or a piece of beef, let him stay where laws make property, and protect it. And, where they do that, it is impossible that men should continue equal in their rights.
THE RIGHTS OF RICH AND FOOR ARE EQUALLY GOOD.
We have, indeed, an equality which is very valuable. I have as good a right to my cottage, as the 'squire of the place, or the lord in the next village, has to the house he lives in. And he must have as good a right, to what has come to him from the industry of his forefathers, as I can have to what my own father earned, or even myself. And even he who cannot afford to buy a cottage, has still as good a right to that which he rents, for the time : and, when he has earned enough to purchase one, the laws will secure it to him. The laws care nothing whether he is an honest labourer or an honest lord. They protect all. If you quarrel with those protectors, the strongest of you will find himself poorly protected.
Thus, you see, you are equal in your rights, where equality can do you good. And, as to happiness, the end of all, you are more nearly equal in this, or the power
of obtaining it, than many of you may imagine. Look into a dwelling, either rich or poor, where diligence and order, cleanliness and frugality, guide the house; and see whether the faces in it do not look more happy than in one where idleness and disorder, dirt and extravagance, are the governors. These are things in your own power. And he who is wise enough to make the right choice here, will have no delight in seeing laws demolished, or property made uncertain.
A FEEBLE DISCIPLE.
What made him so ? It was not ill-health. That might make one feeble in body; but it could not make one feeble as a disciple. Some of the strongest disciples we have ever seen, were persons
health and frail bodies. We have seen those that excused their feeble piety by their feeble health, but we could not see any thing but feebleness in such a pretence. Chastisement of the body is wholesome discipline for the soul; and we have seen a soul get a new pair of wings with which to soar towards heaven, by that very chastisement which others made an excuse for having no wings at all.
Perhaps it was scoffs and reproaches that discouraged aud enfeebled that disciple. But this could not have been without his own concurrence. Scoffs are goads-sneers are spurs. They prick up the soul to lay hold on the everlasting resources of divine friendship and love. There is nothing in them to enfeeble. They may break the skin a little, but they cannot reach the heart to draw the lifeblood. They are very excellent for keeping a disciple wide awake-shewing him the nature and power of sin around him, and leading him, by throwing him back on his Saviour, to know what a blessed thing it is to be in the everlasting arms. If scoffs sink him, it can only be because he would rather sink than swim.
He has very much to do with the world : perhaps that
makes him feeble. Not necessarily. David had a kingdom to care for; and Daniel was one of the chief rulers of an empire; and Joseph sat next to Pharoah. But it did not make
any of those men feeble disciples, because they had so much to do with the world. Connexion with the world, in the active lawful business of life, can make no one a feeble disciple, without he gives way to its unholy influence. His coming much in contact with worldly men need not make him like to them. They cannot break his moral power unless he gives them a helping band.
But perhaps he has taken the world into his heart, and that makes him a feeble disciple. Will this do it ? Certain things taken into the heart will do the same in relation to piety. Poisonous substances may be taken into the hands without injury. Keep them there, and there is no harm. Keep the world out of the heart, and it has no poisonous power. It can wither no disciple's strength. But if the heart is loaded with it, the feet will totter in Zion's ways. The disciple will be puny and feeble. He cannot run the Christian race. He cannot walk even. He may contrive to drag himself along like a convict with with his ball and chain. But there is much danger that his load will wholly crush him, and he be not saved even
as by fire!
A feeble disciple! Would we could say of sinners that they were teeble. Not they. They are strong in worldliness-bold, vigorous, self-denying, and active! See the power
and zeal with which they run their race. A feeble disciple! What! when he has such a mighty Saviour to encourage and strengthen him-such mighty motives to send life and vigour through his soul—so much to allure or alarm him into zeal and earnestness !
Take care, disciple, that you do not find yourself so. feeble as only to get in sight of the heavenly city; your strength failing you before you can reach the gate; or by having lingered so long you find it shut.
TWO SUNDAY SCHOLARS.
She was a
Within one year died two Sunday Scholars of one class. One of them, a stout healthy girl about fourteen years of age, fell into a rapid decline. When first she was ill, she seemed pleased at hearing the word of God, and always welcomed a visitor who could tell her of the worth of her soul, and the wonders of redemption. She had heard that by nature she was lost and helpless; that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; that of herself she could do nothing, but that God will give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him; but whether she felt these truths in her heart, God only knows. Every stroke of the knell on the morning after poor Bersha died, said to her teacher, “whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might, for there is no work, nor device, nor know ledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither thou art going.”
There was more hope of Mary Cremarkably quiet and attentive child : she had always been unhealthy, and her last was a long illness. The questions put to her by her teacher, she answered satisfactorily: she was a child much beloved by her parents ; and after she was gone, her mother loved to talk of her. If anything disturbed her mother, she used to say “O, pass it over, mother, never mind it.” She used to say, “O, that I was like a flower, to be gathered and thought no more of.”
And she was, like a flower, to be gathered while it seemed in the bud; but surely it was in its prime, or it would still have grown and flourished in this lower garden. She was gathered, not, however, to be thought no more of.” The
evergreens with which she adorned the cottage at Christmas, remained weeks after they were withered, because her mother could not bear to take them away ; and a long time after, tears filled the eyes of one of her school-fellows, when the black crape she wore in remembrance of her, was noticed. She is
corpse to the
not forgotten; the wandering eye, the inattention of too many of her class-fellows remind the teacher of one whom she never remembers to have reproved. On the Sunday she was buried, the funeral hymn
“ Oft as the bell with solemn toll" was sung at the school; then the children of her class went, at her mother's request, to the cottage, sang another funeral hymn, and attended the
may they all reiterate the prayer they were taught that day!
“ Lord Jesus, help me now to flee
HOSTILITY TO THE BOOK OF GOD.
“From the journals of our Inspectors, I could fill pages of your Report with mournful histories of the sufferings of our Teachers, and lamentable evidence of priestly hostility to the book of God. At present I shall only transcribe from an Inspector's journal, one fact of the latter character :
“On the 16th November, 1841, I inspected the Irish School, master: it is in the parish of He produced a number of adults, well instructed in the scriptures. The Rev. Mr.
in the course of last summer, repeatedly, from the altar, called on to give up his Irish Bible; but the Teacher publicly refused. The Priest, on the following Sabbath, informed the con