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"Is there nothing I can do for you? Shall I write to your friends? "
"Put me down; do not take the trouble to carry me any further. I am dying."
"I have no friends you can write to. But there is one thing for which I would be much obliged. In my knapsack you will find a Testament; will you open it at the 14th of John, and near the end of the chapter you will find a verse begins with 'Peace.' Will you read it ?" The officer did so, and read the words, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
DR. JOHN M. MASON, while preaching on the text, "What shall it profit a man," &c., referring to the apologies given by the impenitent for refusing to accept the gift of eternal life, mentioned the common plea, "We do not want to profess Christianity, because many dishonour the profession; we do not want to be hypocrites; we are candid men." "And so," said the eloquent preacher, 'you are willing to go to hell as gentlemen of candour." It is said that a distinguished lawyer in the city was led by this pointed rebuke to renounce the hypocrisy of unbelief for a sincere faith in the Son of God.
They then put him down, and returned to the field. A few minutes after, an officer saw the man weltering in his blood, and asked him if he could do anything for him.
"Nothing, thank you."
REVERENCE the writings of holy
"Shall I get you a little water ?" men, but lodge not thy faith upon them, said the kind-hearted officer.
"No, thank you; I am dying."
because they were but men. They are good pools, but not fountains.
BERNARD'S HYMN ON THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS.
TRANSLATED BY REV. E. CASWALL, M.A.
JESU! the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills my breast; But sweeter far Thy face to see,
And in Thy presence rest.
Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame, May every heart confess Thy name
And ever Thee adore;
A sweeter sound than Thy blest name,
O hope of every contrite heart,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
But what to those who find? ah, this,
None but His loved ones know.
Jesu! our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize wilt be. Jesu! be Thou our glory now, And through eternity.
Oh, Jesu! King most wonderful!
In whom all joys are found!
Then truth begins to shine; Then earthly vanities depart; Then kindles love divine..
O Jesu! Light of all below,
And seeking Thee itself inflame
No matter how care-burden'd, and
No matter how deprest;
A something in their welcome makes
Thee may our tongues for ever bless,
O Jesu! Thou the beauty art
Celestial sweetness unalloy'd!
Who eat Thee hunger still;
Which nought but Thou canst fill.
Oh, my sweet Jesu! hear the sighs
To thee my inmost spirit cries,
Stay with us, Lord, and with Thy light
Scatter the darkness of our night
OPENING OF THE YEAR.*
A HAPPY, happy Christmas! and
We heard them in our childhood, when
How sweet the kind old greetings sound We dreamt not that life's joyfulness
To every heart and ear:
Could ever pass away;
And though long years of carelessness
A joy still lingers round them, which
* From "Spiritual Songs," a most admirable volume of original Hymns, by J. S. B. Mousell, LL.D.
“FROM a love of experimenting on hu- | field, has been crowned with laurels. This manity, and in some cases, from a deep | chieftainship among the tribes has drawn disaffection to the Divine law and order its dark lines and written its scenes of of things, men have sought to rupture blood on the page of British history. the family compact, and to some extent The domestic relationship is productive have succeeded in loosening the most en- of evil, as well as good. It is favourable dearing and delightful relationships of for the growth of wickedness. Tares life. But violated law has inflicted its will ripen luxuriantly in it, as well as penalty, as it always will do, on so wanton wheat. and daring a doing. The framework of government has been shaken, the solidity of society has given way, and disorder, lawlessness, and tyranny, have held sway for a season, under the pretence of promoting equality, fraternity, and freedom. Liberty without law, is no liberty, but a wicked national licentiousness, profitable to no one, but perilous to all.
"The family constitution has often been perverted, and has been the nursery of unrighteousness. It has been powerful for a time for the resistance of right, and for the oppression of the weak. It has taken the shape of clanship, where the members of one large family have measured their strength in deadly strife, neighbouring family. In this warfare the man with the strongest arm and with the boldest front in the battleFamily Godliness. By the Rev. James Gregory. Snow, Paternoster-row.
"What myriads of families there are on this green earth, and also in our own much loved isle, without hope and without God! The household, where God's law and God's authority are banishedwhere no Divine oracle has ever been consulted-where no altar has ever been built-and where no sacrifice of prayer has ever been offered, are the tabernacles of the wicked. They are not homes, but hiding-places of the unrighteous. Each is a congregation of evil doers;' and, like the dark places of the earth, they are frequently the habitations cruelty.'
"With another state of things we have to do. The family compact, from its deep native relationships, and from its tender intimate associations, has a fitness for great good. Perhaps a really deep-toned vigorous piety can only be reared under healthy home influences. The natural
channels for the conveyance of these to all the members of a household. They are the great arteries that lie near the heart of humanity, and to handle them roughly and rudely, is to interfere with healthy family action; but to use them wisely, and to cherish them assiduously, is essential to a godly domestic economy. Acts of kindness are longer remembered, than acts of teaching and reproving. The young mind, too, is susceptible of right impressions. There is a moulding age in all our households, a spring-time of life, when character is either marred or made. For a child is in a new world, and learneth somewhat every moment. His eye is quick to observe, his memory storeth in secret, his ear is greedy of knowledge, and his mind is plastic as soft wax.' The household rule is a government, whose prevailing law should be the law of love; but to make this rule what it ought to be, requires practical wisdom, and thorough earnestness. Where these have been obtained, family management has not been a barren enterprise, but like the diligent wise working of a mine, rewarding the worker with rich treasure; or, as the skilful cultivation of a field yielding its appointed crop. Truth is imperishable, and if we sow it bountifully, we shall reap also bountifully.
affections of parents and children, are the | with much that is youthful and gladsome; but may this be tempered and controlled by the life of God in the soul, and be all the more blissful from having its roots in a true household piety. Let us have, where it is possible to have it, grace, beauty, poetry, music, and whatever is softening and refining in influence, throwing a halo of light and blessedness and joy about the hearth and home; but underlying all this, and pervading all this, may we have a godly Christlikelife. Let us in our dwellings daily draw near to the 'fount of light and life,' till they are pervaded with a rich evangelical element-the oxygen of the Christian atmosphere, which is able to save the soul.
"If Christian families have ever been the spring-head of benevolent and holy influences-if it is here that the dews of heaven are first imbibed and collectedif here the refreshing waters of pure and undefiled religion commence their earliest flow-if in the bosom of such families, we have the first settings of earnest thought, and the buddings of manly piety, and the best form of holy fellowship, it behoves us to 'look well to the ways of our household.' We plead for a real spiritual life in our homes. Let us have all that is manly in action, useful in life, solid in principle, in worth, in character, but all springing from a deep inward religious life. Let us have the joyousness of childhood in our homes, innocent glee and mirth, parents partaking in the loud laugh, and welling up in full sympathy
"The absence of this tone of piety in our professedly religious households, is a matter of sore lamentation. Domestic piety is, we fear, rather waning than waxing. The streams of our Christianity are multiplied and broadened, but we have not, as formerly, a deep, strong, rushing current.
"A system of training which does not insist on this as one of its first things, is not sound. Good books are good things. Good company is a good thing. Good preaching is a good thing. Good counsels are good things. But these can never stand in the place of Bible teaching. Gospel truth is manna to the hungry soul
milk for babes in Christ-food for children-strong meat for young men. It is the life-blood of our faith, and the staff of our spiritual being. A home without a Bible is a house without furniture-the ark without the covenant-a vessel without rudder and compass-a field unfenced. The Times newspaper says, 'We question if any person, of any class or school, ever read the Scriptures regularly and thoroughly without being, or becoming, not only religious, but sensible and consistent. Scriptural instruction is too much undervalued, and therefore not urgently and faithfully plied.' This is not a quotation, but an editorial opinion; and a striking admission from the greatest organ of public sentiment in the civilized world.
"The newspaper well written, with its bold manly comments on men and things,
is becoming a prime organ of teaching to | spirit of so acting has been caught by the the religious world. Many Christians spend much time over its pages, and read it, apparently, with deeper interest than they do the Bible. Newspaper reading in excess has had an injurious effect, imparing the vigour of family godliness, and has given rise to a deep craving for a kind of photographic writing and preaching, which we do not think the strongest thing in our world. Literature with its charms, and politics with all their interest, can never become a substitute for Bible teaching. They cannot nourish the root of Domestic Piety. They contain no sentiments to sanctify and save the soul. In many religious families, evangelical truth is not earnestly taught as an indispensable element of spiritual life. The children have nothing more, daily, than a chapter hurriedly read, and a prayer as hurriedly said. And THIS course of instruction is curtailed, by sad omissions arising from domestic disorder and the professedly urgent calls of business, as if prayer and provender hindered a journey.' The same children are carried through a round of Sunday teaching from the pulpit, but it palls upon them, because it is not spoken of at home with solemn interest; and there is no effort to simplify it, and suit it to their capacities. So far from this, it is often openly and coarsely handled, and gives rise to caustic, ill-timed remark. Real Bible teaching requires us to go into details to put ourselves into sympathy with those we teach, and also with the truth taught-to give forth the precious food in morsels, not in masses, and as is most adapted to the opening mind of youth. In doing thus we are to be unwearied, as if diligence could never be sick at heart, and teaching our own, never sore of foot. In a fastidious, book-surfeited age like ours, there is a danger of the Bible being a too much unused, undervalued volume in the religious dwellings of the land. There are weighty reasons for dealing with it far otherwise. "We are passing through a busy bustling age, one of ceaseless activity and of national enterprise. Men have learnt to act in concert with each other, and by so doing have reached great results. The
Church, and many have more love to serve God in the crowded congregation, than in privacy of retirement.
"Public worship, as to form, is an easy thing, but homestead godliness requires real-heartedness and constant watchfulness, or its glow soon departs. The lamp must be daily trimmed and fed with oil, the fire daily tended and supplied with fuel, or both will expire. And equal constancy is demanded in keeping alive the kindled coals of devotion on the altar of the heart. Religious parents, in the majority of instances, do not feel deeply their family responsibility, nor apprehend clearly the far-reaching consequences of home influences. The public ordinances of grace are valuable and indispensablethe service of song is attractive-pulpit appeals and teaching stir up hearts and intellect the fellowship of the saints is profitable-the godly gatherings to ply the people with appeals to liberality on behalf of our religious institutions are needed-acting in concert with likeminded men and genial spirits is stimulating and praiseworthy-the works of benevolence must have their largehearted workers. In these things many religious men find all the religion they have. But these can never be a substitute for domestic piety. Where this is sedulously cultivated, we find the pith, the marrow, and the back-bone of our common Christianity. Multitudes, by thus acting, reverse the order of a true religion, which inserts its leaven in the centre, working thence to the circumference-from the individual to the mass; but many prefer working from the circumference to the centre-from the mass to the individual.
"In professedly religious families there is, oftentimes, a sad lack of needful authority and obedience. There is no aptitude on the part of parents to govern. Their rightful moral influence has gradually diminished in their households. They hold the reins so loosely, as almost to invite their children to wrest them from their hands. They give their commands in so feeble, faltering a tone, as to warrant early disobedience. Their counsels are ill-conned, ill-timed lessons, as far as