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displaying more love to the sacred cause, more self-denial, and of course more sincerity."
“ A very useful subject indeed; I hope you will always remember, that it is not how much we do, but with what disposition we do it—God looketh at the heart. The disciples condemned the conduct of Mary, pretending that she should have remembered the poor. It was right, indeed, that the poor should be considered and relieved ; this was a plain precept of religion; but every duty should be done in its place, and the duty performed by Mary, was that which she was bound to perform to Him, who had done so much for her.”
“ Mr. Raymond made another remark. He said that the murmurs of the disciples reminded him of the envious remarks of worldly persons, scoffers, and infidels, at the liberal contributions of many to the cause of God. Like Judas, they esteemed that as wasted which is given to the support of ministers, missionary and Bible societies, Sunday schools, and other useful institutions. God accepts these offerings, and at the same time says, “ Ye have the poor always with you, and when. ye will, ye may do them
“ I hope Emily, you will adopt the maxim, “She hath done what she could.' Mary wished to testify her love and gratitude to the Saviour, and therefore brought the best she had, and offered it to him freely. Jesus has often made a claim upon you; he has said, “My daughter, give me thine heart. This is the first and best that you can give him, because it will be followed by other offerings, and lead to a surrender of your time, and talents, and influence, indeed, of all that you have; and as you present them to him, you will say
"Were the whole realm of Nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Demands my soul, my life, my all.''
Emily looked thoughtfully on the ground as her mother spoke ; but she felt what she could not express. Mrs. Bywell continued. “ Do what you can while you are able. You can read the scriptures, and hear the word of God; you can pray for Divine grace to teach and guide you into the way of peace and truth. Thus you
can seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, encouraged by the gracious promise, . They that seek shall find.' God does not expect you to give yourself a new nature; this you cannot do; but he expects, he commands you to use the means which he has appointed, and thus to do what you can—to do it in dependance on his Holy Spirit, and to do it now. Be assured that you will not seek him in vain, nor pray to him in vain ; on the front of his throne of grace is written, in distinct characters, 'Him that cometh, I will in no wise cast out.'”
As she returned to her chamber, Emily was full of thought. “Help me, O Lord,” said she, “ to do what I can for my salvation, and for thy glory, I give myself to thee: accept my poor unworthy offering, and make me thine for ever !"
Emily now became an active agent in her endeavours to do good. She taught the ignorant, and worked for the poor; devoted some part of her slender means to the service of God; she never gave a nod in lieu of money to the collectors on public occasions, and never pleaded poverty when called upon to contribute to the support of God's cause. She did what she could. Instead of spending her money in superfluous dresses, or in gratifying her senses, she denied herself, took up her cross daily, and followed Christ.
She became a wife, and, in conjunction with her partner, did what she could, that God might be honoured in the family. The scriptures were read, prayers were offered, hymns were sung. No parties were received on the Lord's day; that was devoted to the service of God. Her children attended their parents to the house of the Lord; she did what she could to interest them in his ways. She dreaded the thought of bringing up children for Satan, and did what she could that they might be saved. God accepted her motives, gratified her desires, gave her the joy of her heart. She did what she could to render religion lovely; watched and prayed against pride and passion ; guarded her tongue against evil speaking; refrained her lips from murmuring against God; in a word, " she did what she could” to glorify him.
My dear young reader ! imitate the conduct of Mary; bring your offering unto the Lord; it will be an offering like hers, of a sweet smelling savour, acceptable to God, by Christ Jesus. What you do, should be done quickly. Time is bearing you onward to
eternity; and when a few years are come, you will go the way whence you shall not return—a few years at most—perhaps only a few days. Why hesitate to seek the Lord ? Why talk of another season? Why defer to be happy, to be honoured, to be saved ?
“ The day declining speeds away,
Eternity's wide sea rolls on;
To-morrow, grace may be withdrawn."
OPINIONS UPON THE BIBLE. Lord Bacon. “There never was found in any age of the world, either philosopher, or sect, or law, or discipline, which did so highly exalt the public good, as the Christian faith."
John Selden. “There is no book upon which we can rest in a dying moment, but the Bible.”
John Milton. “There are no songs comparable to the songs of Zion; no orations equal to those of the prophets; and no politics like those which the scriptures teach.”
Salmasius. “ Had I but one year more, it should be spent in studying David's Psalms and Paul's Epistles.”
Sir Matthew Hale. “ There is no book like the Bible for excellent wisdom, learning, and use.”
Hon. Robert Boyle. “The Bible is a matchless volume: it is impossible we can study it too much, or esteem it too highly."
John Locke. “It is all pure, all sincere : nothing too much nothing wanting."
Sir Isaac Newton. “The authority of emperors, kings, and princes, is human-the authority of councils, synods, bishops, and presbyters, is human; but the authority of the prophets, and Moses, and the apostles, is divine.”
Sir William Jones. “ THE ADAMANTINE PILLARS of our Christian faith cannot be moved by the result of any debates on the comparative antiquity of the Hindus and the Egyptians, or of any enquiry into the Indian theology.”
J.J. Rousseau. “I confess to you, the majesty of the scriptures astonishes me: the holiness of the Gospel speaks to my heart. If the life and death of Socrates are those of a sage, the life and death of Jesus are those of a God."* Lord Byron.
“ Christianity is the purest and most liberal religion in the world, but the numerous teachers who are continually worrying mankind with their denunciations and their doctrines, are the greatest enemies of religion. I have read with more attention than half of them, the Book of Christianity, and I admire the liberal and truly charitable principles which Christ has laid down.”
These witnesses to the value of the Bible, not excepting the two last, are by all allowed to have been great men. But the testimony of a great man, even, is worth little or nothing, unless he is conversant with the subject upon which he gives his opinion. Thus, for example, when Hume throws out a sneer or a sarcasm against Christianity, we are not bound to attach any importance to it, when viewed in connection with his avowal to Dr. Johnson, that he had never read the new testament with attention. We must not only look to what a man says, but we must know whether he is speaking that which he knows, and testifying that of which he is well assured.
Now, if in this light we consider the quotations just given, we shall be disposed to attach to them the full weight and importance they deserve. Lord Bacon laid the foundation of sound inductive philosophy; and may therefore fairly be allowed to know what he was saying, when he gave to the sacred penmen a loftier name than that of “philosopher.” Milton, the first poet of any age or country, was as competent as any man could be, to estimate the sublimity and plaintive beauty of the “ Songs of Zion." Sir Matthew Hale, the wisest and most learned dispenser of justice in his day, was the very individual to speak of the use of that majestic, unaltered, and unalterable code of law and morality which the Bible contains. Locke, a profound metaphysician, and one who though he had with great success applied himself to the study of the human understanding, must have detected much that was questionable, and perplexing, and superfluous, in his own system, was, above all others,
*We have extracted these interesting testimonies from Mr. Macrae*s Occasional Addresses to Sunday School Children, a volume which is evidently the produce tion of an intelligent mind, and one accustomed to commune with the young. The work belongs to a fast-increasing and really useful class of publicatiovs, the merits of which are not always evident to the casual or speculative reader, though the practical teacher cannot fail to perceive them.
the best qualified to appreciate one that was “all pure, all sincere ; nothing too much; nothing wanting :” and to settle down upon
the declaration and petition of the psalmist—"THY hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding that I may learn thy commandments !" Newton, who owes all his greatness to the rigid and mathematical exactness with which he examined proofs and made his calculations, was the least likely of any one to have been imposed upon by inconclusive arguments, or to have exalted above the“ unerring laws of nature," as they are sometimes called, the mere dicta of Moses, the prophets, and the apostles, without sufficient evidence. The bare assertion of Sir William Jones, the great orientalist, is surely sufficiently decisive as to the relative antiquity or merits of the true and spurious sacred books; and there can be no need to bear out the statements of the two following witnesses, as they are evidently extorted in opposition to their wishes, and condemn out of their own mouths, the enemies of inspired truth.
OMNISCIENCE OF GOD. “ Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."-Heb. iv, 13.
The Apostle here uses a metaphor derived from victims, which were divided or cut through, so that all the intestines were opened, and the priest was able to discover whether the victims were without blemish or not. Thus all things, even the most secret thoughts, devices, and purposes of men's hearts, lie naked and exposed to the inspection of Him with whom we have to do,—to whom we must give an account.
ANECDOTE OF LATIMER. Preaching one day before Henry 8th, he stood up in the pulpit, and seeing the King, addressed himself in a kind of soliloquy thus: “ Latimer! Latimer ! Latimer! take care what you say, for the great King Henry 8th is here.” He paused, and proceeded : “ Latimer! Latimer! Latimer! take care what you say, for the great King of Kings is here."