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we would exhort the poor to avoid them, but because these things are wrong. We ought to feel thankful for any favour bestowed upon us by man, notwithstanding that all proceeds finally from God. Man is his instrument: indeed, but still, if he feels for us, and thinks of our good, we ought also to think kindly and gratefully of him, and to give him our good word. It is something if our neighbour will do us any good at all in this evil and wicked world, and he is not under any outward compulsion to do it.
Again, if good is not done to so great an amount as we think it ought to be done, still we should not be unthankful for what is done ; nor ought we to complain and murmur under any sense of this deficiency, but rather to commit our cause to God, and pray Him to sustain us. And, lastly, it ought to be mentioned, that is good is not done us in the way we like best, we should not make a trouble of this. Every Christian may have a different method of dispensing charity : some may give money; some may give other things; some may only help the poor through themselves, by adding to their own savings: and each thinks his own way the wisest. The poor may not think it so; but they will do well to take it cheerfully in the way it is offered, and to give full credit to the giver for the best motives. It is not very often that they can see the evils which have attended one or another way of giving relief, and they are not always the best able to judge on those subjects. They are naturally anxious to be relieved; and the rich ought to be anxious, too, to relieve them in the best manner they can devise ; but the best manner is not always easy to be known. It is that manner which shall benefit the poor without making them depend upon
casual assistance; that manner which shall not tend to 5 diminish their own industry and diligence, but to quicken
and increase it; which shall encourage them in prudence and carefulness, and raise the character, while it comforts and cheers their hearts. Perhaps the best way to attain these ends, in the case of those who are healthy and strong, is to provide them good work, and reward them by good wages, and let them not have to depend on occasional gifts. May God, in his good providence, grant
that it may become the happy lot of every industrious man in the country to enjoy this kind of independence, and to know how to use it rightly, for his own advantage and the glory of God, when given.
SPADE AND FORK HUSBANDRY.
Ahadoe, Oct. 21, 1844. SIR,—On the approach of a winter which, it is to be feared, will be more than usually trying to the poorer classes, from the want of employment, allow me again to draw the attention of landowners and occupiers to spade and fork husbandry, and in particular to the latter.
In regard to the first, having been a considerable digger for many years, and having this year, together with my tenants, dug about one hundred and fifty acres, I wish again to state my conviction that it pays, as to the greatly increased amount of employment afforded by it. And now as to the latter : my belief is, that it is even more beneficial than the former, from the fork penetrating to a greater depth than the spade, admitting the air more freely to the roots of the plant, subsoiling the ground in a manner, and affording a better bed for the seed. Last season my allotment tenants had fifty forks at work, and the produce of the crops has in consequence been extraordinarily fine this harvest, and superior to most in that part of the country; I have no doubt the return will be fully double that of land under the plough. It was quite a beautiful sight to see near three hundred acres of allotments waving with such fine golden crops, where only the other day a dense forest was to be seen. This winter I hope to have more than one hundred forks, besides spades, at work, which will afford employment to great numbers.
Your obedient servant,
ARTHUR DE CAPELL BROKE. P. S. The forks cost singly four shillings each ; if a quantity be ordered of the blacksmith, three-and-sixpence.
EXTRACTS FROM MY FAMILY BIBLE.
MATTHEW xii. 38–46. The Scribes and Pharisees, you perceive, my dear family, could say nothing to what our Lord had just been speaking concerning them; so they answered, saying, “Master, we would see a sign from thee,” though, mark you, they had just declared that our Lord did his miracles through the power of the chief of the devils. Our Saviour, as might be expected, refused to show them a sign, and tells them that though they, evil and adulterous nation as they were, sought after a sign, there should be no sign given them till He should be pleased to work the miracle of his own resurrection, which miracle Jonas figured out 819 years before, when he was kept in the belly of a fish three nights, and then brought up out of the fish alive". How justly, indeed, will the men of Nineveh', and the queen of Shebao, who came from a country to the south of Judea, rise up in judgment against the unbelieving Jews, who heard Jesus and saw his miracles, and who niust have known from his teaching, from his power, and from his perfect life, that a greater than either Jonas or Solomon was amongst them! The men of Nineveh and the queen of Sheba will equally rise up against our generation, if it believe not the record that God gives of his Son. We have with us a greater than either Jonas or Solomon-we have Christ with us, even unto the end of the world, by his powerful Spirit, even the Holy Ghost, who waiteth to be gracious to all who seek by prayer to know the truth as it is in Jesus. Beloved, do not copy these unbelieving Jews, as too many of your neighbours do. Ask yourselves plainly, have we, or have we not, souls to be saved ? and is Jesus the way of salvation, or is He not? Ask these two questions humbly in the desire of a happy answer, and you will be soon satisfied that the true wisdom of man is to work out the salvation of his sinful soul, and that Christ, and Christ only, is the way of salvation; and you will further be satisfied, that of all sins unbelief is not only the most wicked, but the most foolish. Often had the Jews rebelled against God; nay, almost their whole history is one rebellion; yet at times they returned to the Lord, when his judgments were upon them: but now they were prepared to fill up their cup of sin and wickedness. They cast away the witness of Moses and the prophets; they will not believe in Jesus Christ, whom God had sent to fulfil the law and prophets; nay, they say He has a devil. The state of that wicked generation was exactly that of the man, who, being delivered from one devil, immediately goes and takes to himself seven more wicked than himself.
1 Jonah i. 17.
2 Jonah iii. 5.
13 1 Kings x 1--14.
You will observe, that the man to whom our Lord likens the Jews could not find any rest when the unclean spirit was out of him, but must take to himself some more evil spirits: now, is not this the case with many around you? sin is their delight, and unless they are at sin they are not happy. Though they know well enough that “ the wages of sin is death ;" yet they would rather barter their soul's life for a little pleasure here, such as it is, than accept “the gift of God, which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord;" and for this reason, that he that is in Christ must be a new creature. Old things must pass away from him,—all things must become new. He that is in Christ must crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts 1.
EXTRACTS FROM DIFFERENT AUTHORS.
THE FESTIVAL OF CHRISTMAS-DAY.
How very unsuitable to the occasion of our joy and thanksgiving on this solemn festival of the Church, is the custom of those who spend this time in rioting and drunkenness, and other excesses! For the mystery we now commemorate is, the birth of the Son of God, who destroy? The blessing we now pretend to thank God for, is our redemption from the power of sin, and the dominion of darkness: can any thing he more contradictory to this pretence, than now at this very time to sell ourselves to that slavery, from which we seem to rejoice that we were redeemed ? “He gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Is it not then a very unsuitable way of commemorating this benefit, that iniquity should abound now, rather more than at other times; and that our love to God, and zeal for his service, should now become cold, when it ought to be most flaming and operative ? Is it not very absurd, that at this season, set apart on purpose to commemorate our Lord's birth, and in the doing of which we pretend to be at this time employed, we should so far forget, or so little consider, what was the design of his coming, as to live and act in the greatest possible contradiction thereto; not only making this festival an occasion and opportunity, but seeming likewise to think it an excuse or justification of our allowing ourselves in such irregularities and extravagancies, as we ourselves should not do at any other time? This is the manner of a great many people's keeping Christmas; but I hope better things of you. I hope you do, and I pray God we all of us may, so "regard the work of the Lord,” so seriously consider and reflect upon the design of our Saviour's first coming, as to keep this feast in remembrance thereof, in a manner agreeable to the occasion of it, and likewise to order our whole lives conformably thereunto; that so at his second coming to judge the world, we may be found an acceptable people in his sight, through the same our Lord Jesus Christ.--Slightly altered from Bp. Blackall.
was manifested for this purpose, that he might destroy the works of the devil : can any thing then be more shocking, than that we should spend the time of this holy festival in the practice of those works which He came to
1 2 Cor. v. 17. Gal. v. 24.
What is the Gospel of Christ?—" It is a system of mercy and truth, adapted, in all its circumstances and provisions, to such creatures as we find ourselves to be. It addresses us as beings endowed with reason and understanding, yet continually misled by unruly wills and affections, beset by temptations from within and from without, conscious that oftentimes the good that we would, we do not, and the evil that we would not, that we do ;' con