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- He came
heart. How could he receive in- first place in the leper's esteem, but struction from one who treated him the God of Elisha would have been with no more respect than that? thought of with scorn. 6 So he turned and went away in But better thoughts came over a rage.” Had the transaction ter
Reflection sobered him minated here, the result would have down, softened his rage, changed been disastrous on many accounts. his mind, Naaman himself, instead of being
“Apt words have power cured-instead of returning with To assuage the tumours of a troubled mind,
And are as balm to festered wounds." health sparkling in his eyes--his countenance ruddy as that of a Never were words more apt and youth-his wasted flesh restored – balmy than the words of one of the and his whole body gloriously reno- servants of Naaman. vated, would have gone back a loath- near, and spake unto him, and said, some leper; the poison in his system My father, if the prophet had bid would have spread through his entire thee do some great thing, wouldst frame, and he would have had to thou not have done it ? how much look forward to the time when, rather then when he saith to thee, shunning and shunned of his race, Wash, and be clean ?” Light thus he would be plunged into the deepest breaks in upon Naaman's mind; he gloom and despair.
perceives his folly, admits the truth Not only so, but the testimony of of his servant's representation, and the little captive maid would have is prepared to do as the prophet been considered false. Pride and directs. It was well that second anger have neutralized many a glo- thoughts were his, and that he posrious truth. Truth, however, is sessed a servant even wiser than truth, whether angrily and scorn- himself. Some encourage the rage fully or meekly received. Many a and folly of others, however unreatestimony has been pronounced false sonable and wicked they may be. which was true, and would have Much wiser and kinder is it to been found blessedly true had it but instil, if possible, better thoughts. been received and acted on.
What a rich harvest of blessedness The result would have been disas- would this servant receive into his trous to the Israelitish nation. Their own soul, and diffuse among thouclaims in regard to their God, their sands of his countrymen, by his wise prophets, and their religious system and courageous course! were high and lordly, and these Naaman, having practised the adclaims were recognized by Naaman vice which at first filled him with after his cure; but the reverse of rage, found, and immediately found, this would have been the case if he what he sought. What a lesson is had not been brought to a better here! How much do we lose for mind.
want of a docile and teachable spirit ! Elisha, too, would have suffered The practice of what enrages us may in his reputation as a prophet. He bring to us comfort and peace. who was remembered ever after with The aim of Elisha and Naaman profound respect and gratitude,
Elisha was as anxious for would have been thought and spoken Naaman's cure as he was himself. of as a charlatan—a mere pretender. Their opinions as to the best means
Lastly, it would have been disas- to effect the cure were different, but trous to the honour of God. As that was all. But who ought to yield Naaman received a cure, Jehovah here—the teacher or the scholar? and Rimmon changed places; had the physician or the patient? In it been otherwise, not only would what an absurd position did Naathe Syrian deity have occupied the man’s rage place him! If he knew
better than Elisha both what was to reasons for his rage; having pointed be done, and how it must be done, out what would have been the disaswhy did he come to him ? And if trous consequences
had he persisted he did not know better than Elisha, in his folly, and the blessed results he ought at least to have practically of obedience to what at first appeared regarded the prophet's prescription. a ridiculous prescription, I shall Never reject unpalatable advice be- conclude by placing before_you a cause it is unpalatable. The most command of the Great Teacher nauseous medicines are often the Himselfmost healthful.
- TAKE HEED HOW YE HEAR.” Having thus placed before you an enraged hearer, and given you his Louth.
It is the weariest part of a weary pilgrimage. Childhood has its glee ; youth has its buoyant hopes and ardent expectations ; but old age is in a great degree incapacitated for active toil, and is rendered solicitous by the certain prospect of speedy dissolution. At that period of life one seems walking, as it were, among the bones of his fellows who have preceded him. His head is whitened with the frosts of time. His physical force is abated. His form is trembling and stooping, and the very ground, to his ears, seems to ring hollow beneath him. is to him but as a dream, and the future is yet to be tried. Dimly recollected visions of other years flit through the chambers of the memory, and disappear like airy phantoms from mental view. The companions of his youth are gone, and the tastes and sympathies of his contemporaries are inharmonious with his own.
Through feebleness he is mostly confined at home. Eyesight grows dim, music fails of its charms; thirst for fame or gold becomes even more than formerly vain: and he who was once perhaps mighty in word or in deed relapses into second childhood, feeble and spiritless, just on the border of the grave.
If now he is destitute of a cheering, vivifying faith in Christ, how strange and mournful his lot! Through a long life he has declined to walk with God. He has accepted the food and raiment a Father's hand has bestowed; he has been glad when his health and strength have been sustained. He has laboured long and hard, but has laid up only what moths corrupt and thieves steal. And now he is nearly at the end of his
race, jaded, worn out, and gray in the service of the most cruel of taskmasters. He has spent all his years an enemy of his best friend. He has passed his life in slavery, but has received only a curse for his labours, and, except repentant, can never hope for any thing better. Galling as his chain of bondage has been, he has contracted a love for it, and still hugs it with trembling hand to his bosom. What more melancholy sight can one picture to his mind? His childhood, youth, and manhood were spent in sin. Through half a century, sixty or seventy years it may be-he has resisted the appeals of conscience and of God, and there he stands trembling by the side of the grave-old in unbelief
, gray in sin, up to this hour a neglecter of heaven's freely offered grace; still in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity. How mournful the sight! He has trusted in his own wisdom, and leaned upon himself for strength. Perishable things have been his chief good. And now he must quit all; and yet he fears it is not all of death to die. Somehow it now seems to him dreadfully true that he is not about to cease to exist because he is about to cease to breathe. Somehow he now begins to apprehend the future is to have a mysterious and awful connection with the present. Through scores of years hə has sought only "the meat that perish
The Word of God has not been his careful study; the people of God have not been his chosen companions ; the Redeemer's service has not been his delight. A poor, dependent one he has ever been; destitute, miserable
, and forsaken he ever must have been, but for the present help of Him who
him life; and yet he has travelled through all his years a neglecter of His salvation, who gave him existence at first, and sustained him to the last! Whose sympathies are not stirred within him at the sight of one thus
tottering into a hopeless grave, leaving behind him threescore years of perpetual mercies rejected, a lifetime wasted, a Saviour rejected, and the Spirit of Grace probably grieved for ever away?
LEISURE HOURS. "To my mind,” said a friend, “leisure designed for each one of us, and which honrs always suggest slippers, a lounge, will make us purer and nobler if we and an open fire-place.” Pleasant sug- will suffer ourselves to feel their ingestions these, and doubtless to every spiration. reader of the words they will bring But the truth is, we are gluttons visions of his own peculiar delights, with our leisure. We assume that the grave or gay, quiet or active. It may amount of delight to ourselves is be a little revelation of secrets we keep exactly proportioned to the number of even from ourselves to interrogate fancied pleasures we can cram into the closely the meaning of these pictures, moments. We do not think of profor we do not deck our bodies with tracting the delight by slowly parhalf so much care to hide deformities taking, that we may not miss any of as we do our characters, and the one its power; but rather seek to get the we seek to please in the latter case is whole concentrated, to stuff ourselves none other than ourselves. In the with it, so that it will last over to the leisure hour we are off guard, so to next holiday, as the Bushmen eat speak, or rather we are in negligé; whole cattle, and then go without food given over to the enjoyment of “sweet
And so appetite is abused, neglect," and so suffering our real and digestion disordered, and we are inclinations and desires to come out the worse for our fancied pleasures . and show themselves. Ask not what They become intense, unnatural, deare a man's pur but what are his structive. pleasures, if you would kuow him best. And, again, leisure hours are not Meet him anywhere but at his busi- enough esteemed since the feeling is Dess, where policy, and propriety, and too common that it is not of much imbusiness considerations are controlling portance how we spend them. The him, if you wish to know really what great end to be sought is relaxation, he is or where he is drifting. Where and if we get this, what more is to be are his leisure hours spent ? What are
desired? This is a bad mistake. Often his relaxations ? What are his day- it is forced on our notice that our dreams and anticipations?
formal education and our systematic Leisure hours are not enough es- training do not after all make us what teemed. It is an old line of remark to
Occasionally a man is dego on to speak of the continual drive veloped in spite of these, and as if to and hurry of life, which begrudges mock at their impotency, he becomes holidays, which counts the time lost something widely at variance with that is not given to labour and gain, what they would have made him. His
A sadder thing than this leisure hours, his pleasures, have shaped is the use made of the little leisure his character. These are most potent actually obtained. The notion that this educators. Half the puzzles which are is waste time is unfortunately too near pointed out with reference to the difthe truth, and is only false in so far as ference between the aims and results it fails to state the whole evil. Leisure of training find their solution here. onght to be a great educator and im- A dreadful commentary it is upon prover; it should ease the mind of the buman depravity that most of the sins burdens which are wearing it hard and and enormities which are known to callous, give play to the natural feel- society grow up under the guise of ings of delight in nature, in children, pleasure. This is a fact which stares in beauty and simplicity of any kind; 18 in the eyes every day, and yet we it should call out the quiet and simple fail to realize that it is of much impleasures of existence which God has portance how we use our leisure, what
and so on.
kind of relaxation we take. It is only hard-pressing, unceasing moil of life a leisure hour; what if I waste it, or around us, as a protection against turn it to questionable pleasures, or greater evils. And yet leisure is every spend it in foolish or vile imaginings? man's desire and longing; his choicest It is a very small part of my life. opportunity for culture, for spiritual Small, but the seasoning which flavours growth, for doing good and growing the whole.
better. If only a feeling of its imThe abuse of leisure ! A volume portance and value could go with it, might be written about it, and some- and intelligent views of its proper use, times when thinking of the subject, we surely more leisure would be as deare almost ready to rejoice even at the sirable as it is desired.
THE HALL LAMP AND THE FRONT DOOR MAT.
“ Before honour is humility." THE Hall Lamp had just been relac- your own gilding than I did towards quered and burnished, and was proud my plain brown aspect. of himself. One evening, after being As to our respective positions, for lighted, he began to indulge lofty aught I see, one may as well lie on thoughts of his brightness and beauty. one's back, as be hung up by the hair Looking down from his elevation, his of one's head, as you are; and draughts, vain-glorious eye chanced to light by the way, are no worse than hot upon the Front-door Mat.
It lay poisonous air. You talk of your sermeekly in its place, bearing upon its vice in the hall, but I am far more lap tokens of recent service.
indispensable to the house than your" Hallo, Mr. Cocoa-nut! have you self. Have you forgotten what our seen me in my new suit? Look up master and mistress said about us, here. Don't I shine? Isn't my light when we hung in the shop together, a remarkable ? This hall would look month ago ?-'We must have the mat; miserably dull without me, I can tell the lamp can wait awhile.' you. And what a difference there is Then remember, that although I am between us, to be sure! Upon my plain looking, I am useful and willing, word, I feel for you, old boy; I do all day, and all night too, if wanted, indeed. If you could but be an aris- whereas you only work three or four tocratic Hall Lamp like me, now, in- hours in the evening, and even then you stead of a poor brown Mat! Why, know that you sometimes make a great just think; whilst I live so splendidly fuss about lighting. Haven't you
also out of the reach of that wheezy old been seen impudently bobbing up and door, you must lie flat on your back, on down, making my eyes ache, and Masa cold stone floor, and catch all the ter very cross? And have'nt you then draughts that may whistle and rush gone right out in a pet? I don't see viciously at you. I declare I shiver at
that yon are so good after all. the thought! Why, I should be ex- Besides, I work for love, and ask no tinguished with half what you have to toll; but you will not give an hour's endure.
light without sending in a little bill Then think again. I am clothed in after. fine colours, and hung up here to be Then I am always prepared for use; glorified, whilst you are fated to re- but Jane has to go into the cellar, then ceive the nasty refuse which anybody return, mount a chair, turn a tap, and may bring in from the street. Nobody hold a match beside you, to make you cares how you look. Thank goodness work. If I get wrong, broken, or worn, I'm a lacqnered Hall Lamp. Poor I am sorry, but I don't make bad Cocoa-nut.
worse; but if you should fall into The Front-door Mat didn't trouble to trouble, whew! what a time we have rise, but quietly replied, “Small man- of it! No matter how small the hole, ners to you, Mr. Lamp. Suppose you if there be life in your body, you begin keep your pity until you have heard breathing out threatenings and slaughmy say. I am contented. You are, I ters, and filling the house with your grant, handsomer in appearance than evil odours, so that we have all wished am I, but you did no more towards
No, Mr. Lamp, keep your pity. I'd rather be a poor door mat and be generous, constant, industrious, and indispensable, than even a lacquered Hall Lamp, if I am to be, as I fear you are, lazy and selfish, fitful, proud, and helpless. I would ... But hark,
there's a ring. Somebody's come, and they'll be sure to look for ma. Good bye. You forced me to talk, or I wouldn't have spoken. It has made me as nervous as you are when the door's opened. Here's Jane."
THE THEOLOGY OF THE COMMISSON ON baptism, consisted of more than six
THE SUBJECT OF CHRISTIAN BAP- hundred pages; yet, as the question TISM. By R. Ingham. London: concerning the Subjects of Baptism is E. Stock.
on all hands acknowledged to be more A SINCERE and hearty lover of truth important than the question as to its will search for it wherever it may be
mode, he could not be satisfied to leave found, and will buy it at any price
it untouched. The time and toil exwhich it may cost. The doctrine of pended in the preparation of the first Christ constitutes the most precious part of his work were enough to occatruth which the mind can discover,
sion what he now confesses to have and which the heart can obey. When
felt—"a tiredness of the controversy.” this doctrine is clearly known, and cor
This sense of weariness has led him to dially embraced, all our energies will
issue his second part as a “fragment, be enlisted in its advocacy and defence;
confining it to what he calls “ the and everything which is deemed to be Theology of the Commission on the at variance with it will excite our Subjects of Baptism." To corroborate secret antipathy, and arouse us to ac
the theological import of the commistive opposition.
sion he cites the account given in the The testimony of our Lord concern
Acts of the Apostles of the baptism of ing the ordinances of His church is to
the three thousand, who, if not bapbe accepted as decisive and sufficient;
tized, were added to" the church on and such testimony must be adduced the day of Pentecost. and enforced by all who would be The most remarkable feature in this found faithful to Him. This duty be- second and smaller, as well as in the comes the more imperative at a time first and much larger, part of the work, when the multitudes have “gone away is the long array of quotations made from his ordinances, and have not kept from Pædobaptist authors which favour them.' All divine institutions—those our faith and practice, and which Mr. which were imposed by Christ, as well Ingham rightly regards as "weapons as those which were inaugurated by put into our hands to use against the Moses—have been, after a while, either practice of infant baptism.” With the entirely abandoned, or extensively unsleeping eye and undeviating aim of altered; so that it has ever been a part an ecclesiastical detective he seems to of religious fidelity to reprove the have traversed the highways and bye neglect, or to resist the innovation. ways of ancient and inodern Christian
The Author of the “ Hand-book on literature in quest of these weapons ; Baptism” would be pronounced by and having found them in almost inthose who know him best to be a man credible numbers he has stored them of “a meek and quiet spirit;' not and made a display of them, something naturally contentious, or constitution- after the manner in which implements ally inclined to controversy. Yet he of war may be seen exhibited in an has been incited, by a solemn sense of armoury. As the baptismal controduty, to argue the question of Baptism versy is certain to continue, and as with a perseverance, we might say a “there is no discharge in this war” pertinacity-- using the word not in for those who are ranged on our side blame but in praise—which has pro- of the contest, it is well to be provided bably never been surpassed. His with a proper equipment for it. We form treatise on the Mode, or nature of have had other works designed to fur