Imágenes de páginas


In the fortification of a city or town, all the ramparts are not castles and strong-holds ; but between fort and fort there is a line drawn, that doth, as it were, join all together and make the place impregnable. So it is in the fortification of the soul by sin.All sins are not strong-holds of Satan, they are the greater and grosser sins; but between, there is drawn a line of smaller sing, so close that you cannot find a breach in it; and by these the heart is fenced against God. Now, is it nothing that your little sins fill up all the void spaces of your lives?. Is it nothing that you no where lie open to the force and impression of the Holy Spirit ? He, by His convictions, batters the greater and more heinous sins of your lives; but these strong-holds of Satan are impregnable, and give Him the repulse. He seeks to enter in by the thoughts ; but these are so fortified by vanity and easthly-mindedness, and a thousand other follies, that, though they are but little sins, yet swarms of them stop up the passage; and the soul is so full already, that there is no room for the Holy Spirit to enter.-Bishop Hopkins.


An unbeliever, taking his seat in the scorner's chair, may impiously say, “How improbable is the tale that a certain Samaritian conveyed a wounded man to an inn, and took care of him, and on departing the next day took out two pence and giving them to the host, said, Take care of this man.” Luke x. 35. Thus mislead by his impiety and ignorance, he may exclaim, “What a paltry sum to ensure suitable supplies for a man who had been robbed and wounded ! Here we may see that "for the soul to be without knowledge is not good," Prov. xix. 2.- For the two pence given were not such copper pence as we are accustomed to see nor yet such silver pennies as were current in England in the days of those who translated the Bible into our mother tongue.But the pence given by the good Samaritan were two Roman silver pieces, each of which was a little larger than our sixpence, being in weight equivalent to an English silver coin that would pass for seven pence three farthings. Another thing too must be taken into the account, and that is, what a denarius or Roman penny would procure. On turning, therefore, to Matt. xx. we perceive that the Saviour founds a parable on the circumstance of men being hired to work in a vineyard for a penny a day. Now it is well known that a man competent to do justice to our vines near London, can obtain four shillings a day.

We see, therefore that while two denarii or Roman pennies are in weight worth fifteen pence half penny of money, there is reason also to believe that in their actual currency at the time in question two such pence were to the wounded man what eight shilling would be at some country house of call in England at the present day.

Under such circumstances, then, the money deposited for the wounded man's benefit was not a sum to be deposited, especially as the good Samaritan said to the host,“Whatever thou spendest more, when I return I will repay thee.” Thus from the remains of antiquity “God has perfected praise that he may still the enemy and the avenger.”

PARENTAL FALSEHOODS. In noticing Mrs. Opie's “Illustrations of Lying," a writer in the London Literary Gazette has the following remarks, which are well worth the attention of parents.

There is one class of lies, which we are a little surprized did not attract a larger share of Mrs. Opie's attention : Lies told by parents to their children. We believe that the slight regard in which strict truth is held among mankind, is principally owing to the lies which are told to children by their parents, during the few first years of their lives. Then is the time that permanent impressions may be as well made as at any later period. It is then, probably that what is called the natural propensity. of a child is unfolded. Many persons who have great abhorrence of lying, and whip their children if they detect them in it, yet make no scruple of telling and acting to them the most atrocious falshoods. There are few parents who do not do this in a greater or less degree, though doubtless without dreaming they are guilty of criminal deception. With many, the whole business of managing their children is a piece of mere. ar. tifice and trick. They are cheated in their amusements, cheated in their food, cheated in their dress. Lies are told them to get them to do any thing which is disagreeable. If a child is to take physic, the mother tells him she has something good for him to drink ; if recusant, she will send for the doctor to cut off his ears, or pull his' teeth, or that she will go away and leave him, and a thousand things of the same kind, each of which may deceive once and answer the present purpose but will invariably fail afterwards.

We have noticed a few of the cases of lying to children, but enough to illustrate the frequency of it. And yet, after having pursued a course of deception for the two or three first years of life, if the parent then finds his child is trying to deceive him, and will tell a downright lie, he wonders how he should have learnt to do so, for he always "taught” him to speak the truth ; not reflecting that he has been lying to him from his very birth. So he attributes those habits to an innate disposition and tendency to falsehood, which he has himself been fostering and nourishing from the first.

MONKISH IMPOSTURE. About the dawn of the reformation in Scotland, pretended relica were in great repute, and a Roman pedlar, who had a large stock of them opened bis pack near Haddington. Among other varieties, he had a bell which had a rent in it, said to have been occasioned by a false oath, and he pretended that such was its sacred sensibility, that if any person with his hand on it dared to swear a falsehood, it would rend, and the swearer's hand cleave to it. Fermor, to expose this pretence, laid his hand on it, and solemnly swore, That the Pope was anti-christ, and his cardinals, priests, and monks, locusts from hell, to delude men from God and that they would return to hell.Lifting his hand freely from the bell, he held it up to the multitude, that they might see that no change had been made upon it; and that according to its owner, he had sworn nothing but the truth. The pedler slipped off ashamed, nor did any more of those impostors trouble the nation.

SECRET PRAYER. How much have they to answer for to their own souls, who never enter into their closets, shut the door, and then pray to their Father who seeth in secret,-or if they do shrink from secular employments to this duty, as to a task, and come away not lightened of a burthened conscience but as released from a necessary penance to keep conscience quiet under his burthen. O what a mercy it is to feel that burthen intolerable! To lie down under it at the Redeem er's feet, like the woman that was a sinner, and though we speak not a word for shame and sớrrow, determine never to rise again till he say—“Thy sins, which are many, are forgiven thee,”—at least, never till we know that we are sincerely and with our whole heart, asking a blessing, and believing that we shall have it according to our faith, in the Lord's time. That time indeed is now, for all his time is now, who is “the same, yesterday, to-day, and forever ;" but sometimes ours is not yet. Even then, when he comes to deliver, he may say to us, with the rebuke of kindness-Oye of little faith, why did ye doubt.”—Memoirs of Rev. John Summerfield.

Humane Driver Rewarded.--A poor Macedonian soldier was one day leading before Alexander, a mule laden with Gold for the king's use; the beast being so tired that he was not able either to go or sustain the load, the mule driver took it off, and carried it himself with great difficulty a considerable way. Alexander seeing him just sinking under the burden, and about to throw it on the ground, cried out, “Friend, do not be weary yet ; try and carry it quite through thy tent, for it is all thy own.”

Faith.— If this doctrine fall and perish, the knowledge of

every truth and religion, will fall and perish with it. On the contrary, if this do but flourish, all good things will flourish; namely, true religion, the true worship of God, the glory of God, and a right knowledge of every thing which it becomes a Christian to know,


Letter from Dr. Palmer, Dated July 15th, 1830. In giving an account of the station occupied by Dr. Palmer be. fore the removal of this portion of the Cherokees, it was mentiontioned that the families then settled around him, intended to remove and settle together on their new lands. This intention they in part carried into effect. The school is now on the same footing as formerly, except that a portion of scholars are boarded in the mission family on the condition that their parents furnish their provisions. Others board with their parents. The Indians expect to defray the principal expense of the station.-Missionary Herald.

The school was opened and kept up according to the arrangements made by the district. At first there were about a dozen scholars, and in a few days the number increased to thirty, twenty of whom were little girls. This was five or six more that we intended taking, but we could not well reject them. They all were comfortably clad and provided with bed chothes ; and Col. Webber furnished the bread stuff and meat for their board. With the exception of two or three, the scholars were all very steady, and seemed to make good progress in the common branches of education; and what rendered the school more interesting and orderly was the interest taken in it by the chiefs of the district. They felt that the school was theirs, and for the good of their children, and that it was dependent in a measure upon them for patronage. If at any time difficulty should occur in the management of the school, I was directed to send for the chiefs of the district, which would relieve me and ward off any blame. From time to time wholesome regulations were adopted: one of which was, that the scholars of the school shall all be required to attend public worship on the Sabbath, when it is held in the neighbourhood where they are ; and they shall not be permitted to range about the fields for play or sport on the Sabbath. To secure the school from interruption by drunken persons, the district council passed a law to inflict a penalty upon any such offender.

The school has been interrupted some by my medical practice. There was an epidemic through the country, last winter and spring, which proved fatal to numbers of the Cherokees. While it prevailed I was called off frequently ; but to save the school I rode a good deal in the night, and sometimes a medical student who is reading with me assisted me in the school.

I am convinced that our school would be sufficiently large, if the whole burden of support should rest upon the parents.

Many of them are abundantly able.

In the medical department I have had more to do than I could wish. I have avoided labor of this kind as much as I could with propriety, in order to save my time for other purposes. In some cases, however, I have gone to visit the sick when I was not called for, knowing the people to be strongly attached to their ancient mode of conjuration, or prejudiced against all white people and par. ticularly missionaries. While the epidemic before spoken of was most alarming, I providentially heard of its violent attack upon a Cherokee woman, wife of a full blood Cherokee, and a known enemy of the missionaries and of the Christian religion. He is a man of some property, reputation, and influence among his people. Knowing his prejudices, Mrs. Palmer and myself had taken frequent opportunities to call upon him and show ourselves friendly. It was a Sabbath morning when I heard of his wife's sickness, and as there were several others in the neighborhood attacked at the same time, I concluded to omit public worship. Accordingly I took my interpreter and spent the day in visiting the sick who had not sent for me. When we came to this man's dwelling, I found him waiting on his wife with despair depicted in his countenance. She was so prostrated by only a few hours operation of this dreadful malady, that she could not be raised up in the bed without sainting. I said “My friend, I heard of your wife's sickness, and have come too see her; and if you wish it, I will try to help her; it may be I can help her.” He said he was glad I came, and would be thankful if I would do something for his wife, for he despaired of her recovery. I applied the usual remedies for two or three days, when she had so far recov ered as to be able to walk about. Upon a subsequent call at his door, he appeared glad to see me, and would have me get down and go in, and his wife set food before me with an appearance of great pleasure. Now, thought I, the way is open to interweave with our conversation some religious remarks. But before the thoughts were matured, he directed the interpreter to say to me, “I believe if you had not come to visit my wife, when she was sick, that she would now have been in her grave.” As he said this, tears flowed freely down his cheeks. I told him I was thankful if God had made me the instrument of saving her life. “Within a few days," continued he. “I have been thinking much about your business. I see you travelling often night and day, in all kinds of weather, to visit the sick. I go to your house and see a large family of children, not your own, whom

you labor to instruct, and on every Sabbath I hear of your preaching to our people the word of God. From this time you may look upon me as your friend. I have been at your meetings once or twice, and have heard a little of the word of God, and what I have heard is good. I will now listen to it, and on every Sabbath when it is practicable, my family and myself will be present at the place of worship.” I said I was glad to hear him talk so ; that Mrs. P. and myself had left dear connections to come into this distant country for the sole purpose of doing him and his people good; that we loved them, and therefore labored for them cheerfully; and that we wished to see them happy in this life, but especially we wished to teach them the way of salvation, so that they might be happy in death, and happy in the world to come. I told him I hoped he would keep his promise, and attend meetings, where he would hear more of God and the way of salvation. This man

afterwards insisted upon giving me a very lovely little boy of his, about two years old. While attending upon his wife, I observed he was much aitach

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »