Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

from a newspaper a few months since, stand for an example. “ Some brutes, in human shape, at Harlowbush fair, engaged a poney, about twelve hands high, to run a hundred miles in twelve hours. The little animal went sixty miles in six hours, but at the eightieth mile, it broke its heart, and fell down dead."

The many cruel practices exercised towards animals intended for food, ought not to pass unnoticed. The unfeeling barbarities of butchers and drovers, in their treatment of different kinds of beasts designed for slaughter, are dreadful to be conceived. The flaying of eels alive, when a single blow, properly given, will instantly kill them, is a well known instance of deliberate cruelty. Much needless torture is practised in depriving shell-fish of life, as oysters, crabs, and lobsters. That exquisite refinement of epicurism and barbarity, the crimping of fish alive, cannot be reprobated in too strong language. Many other cases might be mentioned, and if every reader would try to make a catalogue of all the instances of unnecessary and wanton cruelty in killing animals for the purposes of food, which he recollects to have seen or heard of, it will probably tend much to excite his indignation and soften his heart.

The inhuman methods which are necessarily employed in order to teach various beasts and birds to perform unnatural and strange feats of sagacity and agility, by way of public exhibition, ought to weigh with every man of feeling, sufficiently to prevent his encouragement of any such useless and unwarrantable sights. This is, surely, one of the most wanton abuses of our dominion over the animal race. The same may be said of every mutilation of the ears and tails of horses, under the absurd and indefensible plea of improving their outward appearance.

Too much cannot be said on this subject to all those, whether parents or instructors, who have the care of children. They should watch them very narrowly to prevent their treating insects, birds, or any other animal, with the smallest degree of inhumanity. They should be taught from the first to make the feelings of the creatures their own; and every possible means should be employed to interest their earliest affections, in the cause of tenderness and mercy, on scriptural grounds. To boys, in particular, that fundamental source of future cruelty of temper, the robbing birds of their nests for amusement, should be represented in its true and hateful colours. It was very emphatically said by a writer of the last century but one; “ The cruel parent that would encourage his childe to deprive a poor birde of her young brood, right well deserveth to have his own nest robbed, and to become childless.” For many

other instances of cruelty to animals, judiciously selected and feelingly commented upon, the reader may consult Young': Essay on Humanity.

In order to place the sin of wilful cruelty to animals, and the banefuløtendency of an attachment to cruel sports and diversions, in an impressive and solemn point of view, I will conclude with the relation of a circumstance which took place on April 4, 1789. It has already appeared several times in print, and I find, upon actual inquiry, that it is indisputably true. It may serve instead of whole volumes written against cockfighting, and all other such unjustifiable and inhuman practices. “ A. Esq. was a young man of large fortune, and in the splendour of his carriages and horses, equalled by few country gentlemen. His table was marked for hospitality, and his behaviour was courteous and polished. But Mr. A. had a strong partiality for the diversion of cock-fighting; and had a favourite cock upon which he had won many profitable matches. The last bet he laid upon his bird he lost ; which so enraged him, that he had the wretched animal tied to a spit, and roasted alive before a large fire. The screams of the tortured bird were so affecting, that some gentlemen who were present attempted to interfere; which so exasperated Mr. A. that he seized a bar of iron, and with the most furious anger declared, that he would kill the first man that interposed to save the cock: but, in the midst of his passionate exclamations and threats, most awful to relate, he fell down dead upon the spot!"

“ Doubtless there is a God that judgeth the earth.” O! then, " let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like unto his.” Ps. lviii. Numb. xxiii.

Ch. 06.

HOLY RESOLUTIONS.
MR. EDITOR,

I sobmit to your examination, for publication in your useful magazine, the following paper, which was drawn up by a man of distinguished piety, and which may be productive of very salutary effects on some of your readers. Should the plan proposed not be exactly suited to all states and conditions of men, as, from their great variety, it can hardly be expected, still it may suggest to all strong motives for self-examination, and induce many to look more carefully into their own hearts, to discover their unWorthiness, and their infinite need of an advocate with the Father.

I am, &c. E.

In the strength of divine grace, I make the following

RESOLUTIONS: I will regard the favour and everlasting enjoyment of God, as the end of all my plans; and study to make the consideration of them influence, as much as possible, the minutest actions of my life.

I will regard the obedience, sacrifice, mediation, and intercession of Christ, as the only procuring cause of all those spiritual blessings which conduce to that end; as the pardon of sin, peace with God, and the sanctifying influences of his Spirit.

I will continually keep in mind my obligation to walk in Christ's steps, and to be holy as he is holy: as one, which if I do not fulfil, I shall in vain hope to enter heaven; and I will ever pray for the Spirit of God, in the belief that through his operation alone, can this holy frame be produced.

I will cultivate an habitual sense of God's presence, and of my accountableness to him; of the shortness of time, and of my obligation to improve it.

I will consider love to God and zeal for his glory as my highest duties, and study to improve daily in these divine affections; and I will judge of my progress in them, not by transient fervours of the mind, but by my habitual tempers, by my punctual performance of the self-denying duties of christianity, by my cheerful acquiescence in all God's dispensations, and by the love, the humility and the meekness which I am enabled to exercise to those around me.

I will study to live a life of dependence on Christ, and of faith in his word; making it the sole and exclusive measure of my belief and practice.

I will particularly study to restrain all wanderings of the mind, in the public and private exercises of God's worship; to banish, as much as I can, vain and worldly conversation, and vain and worldly thoughts from my mind and lips, on the Lord's day; and to give all my household the time requisite for hallowing it.

I will be particularly guarded against the intrusion of impure thoughts. I will turn away my eyes from beholding what might lead to them, shut my ears against polluting conversation, and restrain my tongue from every licentious word; and I will carefully avoid every circumstance which I know to have formerly excited improper feelings, and forbid my thoughts to dwell, for a moment, on past scenes of sensual pleasure.

I will watch against every rising of covetous desire; and while I carefully repress all tendency to improper expense, or the care

less profusion of any of God's gifts, I will seek out proper objects with whom to share those good things of which God has made me the steward, and of which he will require an account. I will ask every night, whose distress have I this day relieved?

I will no longer put off to a future day, or leave the business of the present day or hour, but will apply myself to it, deny myself to sloth and the love of ease, and exercise a constant and self-denying attention to what is my proper work.

I will keep truth inviolate in the smallest, as well as in the greatest matters.

I will in no case affect knowledge which I have not.

I will read no book but with attention; and I will read none which tend to inflame the mind, or to excite improper sentiments.

I will be ready to communicate, and also to receive knowledge; and I will be open to conviction, ever receiving correction and reproof meekly and thankfully, never questioning merely for the sake of dispute, nor ever retorting upon any reprover.

I will watch against all superciliousness in look or manner, all sourness of mind in dispute, all impatience of contradiction in my intercourse with all, whether common acquaintance or the most intimate relative, as wife, brother, &c.; and I will listen with patience and kindness to the arguments and reasonings of others, however impertinent they may appear at the moment.

I will also watch against a selfish and exclusive attachment to my own comfort, and study to be equally solicitous for the comfort of others, and to repress every rising of impatience at the trouble which this may occasion to me.

I will endeavour to cultivate a temper of more benignity towards all; and I will attend more to the outward expression of love and kindness, never allowing passion to clictate what I may say, but studying to act by others as I could reasonably wish to be dealt with.

I will watch particularly against all hastiness of spirit towards inferiors, and especially those who need my help; but will listen composedly to their representations, and render them all the justice, and all the kindness in my power, consistently with my other duties.

I will not only not use railing words to any, but I will guard against every circumstance in look and manner, which might tend unnecessarily to wound the feelings of others.

I will not allow the ill conduct of others towards me, to lessen my kindness and good will to them.

I will not reprove my servants in anger, but in love; and be

more anxious to remind them of their obligations to God than to myself.

I will not chide nor correct my children in passion, nor use peevish language towards them; and previous to correcting them, I will use prayer to God; and I will not be turned aside by false pity, or by indolence, from duly correcting their faults, which I will ever remind them to be sins against God.

I will never use threatening language, but by way of preven. tion, and without any mixture of passion; and I will study, not to allow my voice to be elevated above its ordinary tone, in talking with any.

I will guard against all excess in eating and drinking; never allowing complaisance for any to mar for a moment the clear exercise of my reason, or discompose my quiet, by leading me beyond the bounds of strict moderation,

I will, from this time forward, when not hindered by unavoidable circumstances, regularly devote at least one half hour in the morning, and one half hour in the evening, exclusively to those concerns which lie between God and my soul.

I will, every day, make the attainment of purity, humility, meekness, lowliness of heart, activity, watchfulness, calmness of mind, kindness of manner, sincerity, and spiritual mindedness, being the graces in which I conceive myself more particularly defective, the subject of special and earnest supplication at the throne of grace.

I will read every day in private a portion of scripture, with meditation and prayer.

I will be daily engaged in the work of intercession.

I will, at least, once every day, call to mind, with due solemnity, the innumerable instances of God's providential goodness to me, recollecting with deep self-abasement, what I was in — , in

and in and humbly adoring the infinite mercy of God, which has thus far caused me to differ.

I will also call to mind every day my lamentable failures in duty, my many actions whereby God has been dishonoured and my soul injured, even since it has pleased him to convince me ol my obligation to love and serve him; and I will improve the res membrance as an incitement to greater watchfulness, circumspection, and self-distrust.

I will consider the soudy of my heart as one main business of my life; and I will enter every evening, if possible, into a serious review of the past day, and of the invinner in which I have kept this engagement, and into a solemn consideration of the fitness of my soul for entering on the eternal world.

« EdellinenJatka »