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who asked his father, one rainy Sunday, "If he was going to church?" "No, my son," said the father, "don't you see it is raining?" "Yes, father," replied the child; "but you go to market when it rains."
In the course of my ministerial duties, I have been frequently called upon to perform the marriage service for some of my young friends, and as there have been stormy wedding days, as well as stormy Sundays, I have had some opportunity of observing what effect the weather has upon the attendance of guests upon such occasions, and the result of my observations has been, that it makes little or no difference whether the day be fair or foul. I recollect an occasion of this kind, not long since, when I could not help expressing my astonishment, on such a dark and stormy night, to find so large an assemblage convened, even persons of feeble health and delicate constitutions, had ridden several miles, most imprudently, I thought, to enjoy the festivities of the evening. It is really surprising to see how readily, in the pursuit of worldly pleasure, persons can, as it were, bid defiance to the elements; they will accomplish their object, and remove a thousand difficulties, ere they will be disappointed.
Now, I am not disposed to see the house of God almost deserted-indeed in the country it is often quite deserted upon a rainy Sunday—and hold my peace, while I know that the weather seldom interferes with their worldly pleasures. It is a settled habit with some not to go out upon a rainy Sunday; but let it rain ever so hard any day in the week, and I venture to say, their business goes on as regularly as ever. In seasons of drought, I have been requested by the farmers of my neighbouroood, to ask the prayers of the congregation for rain, but I have never had one come to me, after our prayers had been answered, to request that their thanksgivings might be offered to him who gives the early and the latter rain. No, if it had rained the next Sunday, you would have found them at home, and not at church. Is this grateful? Is it right? Will God receive such an excuse at our hands, for neglecting a solemn duty? In country congregations, many persons keep horses and carriages-what is there to prevent them, on rainy days, from going to church? It is some little trouble, to be sure, to get ready-their horses would get wet, and so would their carriages; but horses are accustomed to get wet, and I presume carriages would not be injured by it-a few drops might perhaps fall upon themselves;
and if they are well wrapped up, would a few drops hurt them? This is all the inconvenience I have ever experienced in going to the house of God in rainy weather. And I would ask if such inconvenience is to be put into the scale against God's commands? Is there not encouragement enough in that gracious promise of our Saviour, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them," to induce Christian believers, at least, to practise, if needs be, self-denial, for the sake of experiencing its fulfilment? Let us hear no more complaint about rainy Sundays; let us keep down pride, and if God has given us health, let us wrap up according to the state of the weather, and I venture to assert, we shall never destroy our constitutions by doing our duty in going to the house of God upon rainy Sundays.
A WORD TO THE WEARY.
BELIEVER, look upwards when you feel heavy, and live daily on the sweetness of the command: "Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you." This all includes any quantity or kind of care. What then is thine, Christian?
1. Is thy way dark? dost thou need direction?
See Psalm xxxvii. 5. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass."
2. Does the burden of sin weigh thee down?
See Psalm lv. 22. "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee."
3. Do you dread the fire of persecution, lest you should be ashamed of speaking for your Saviour?
See Luke xii. 11, 12. "Take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: for the Holy Ghost shall teach you what ye shall say."
4. Do you dread health failing, or poverty overtaking you? See Luke xii. 22, 24. "Take no thought for your life. Consider the ravens : God feedeth them: how much are ye better than the fowls!"
5. Do you dread the denial of some earthly prop or comfort?
See Heb. xiii. 5. "Be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee or forsake thee." 6. Or have I omitted to hit upon thy case?
See Phil. iv. 6.
"Be careful for nothing: (what is the reliever?) but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God."
KURUMAN.-A MONUMENT OF MERCY.
IN the following communication from the Rev. Robert Moffat, we are presented with an account of the last days of an aged woman, who had been for ten years a member of the church at Kuruman; and who, during that period, walked in all the ordinances and commandments of the Lord blameless." After a long life of sin, and captivity to Satan, she was called by the grace of God into the fellowship of his Son, and spent her few remaining years in bearing a faithful testimony to his love. Seldom has there been a more decisive and animating instance of the power of Divine mercy in the salvation of the heathen; and, with such rewards, the friends of Missions have every reason to thank God and take courage:
"During the year, several members of the church at this station have been called away by death, among whom were three very aged widows. The character and closing scene of Litsape, the eldest, will, I have no doubt, prove interesting. She lived during the reign of four kings of the Batlapi-the tribe to which she belonged. She was baptized and received into the Church Sept. 6th, 1835, and continued to the day of her decease a warm-hearted, zealous, and consistent disciple. During a period of ten years, there was no part of her conduct to excite an unpleasant emotion in the minds of her teachers.
"Some years ago, her only son and his wife, with whom she had lived, and on whom she was dependent, left the station, and every argument was employed to induce the venerable woman to leave with them. This importunity was the more remarkable, as she was almost helpless, and viewed by the heathen as a nonentity-or, in their own language, a dry old hide.' Her son and daughter, both unbelievers, still persisted in their endeavours to remove her; but nothing could induce her to alter her resolution. Her replies were noble: I can be happy anywhere, if Jesus is only there; if I can only hear his voice. You tell me I shall die of hunger here; I shall trust my Saviour for that. He cared for me-He fed me and clothed me during many, very many years, when I knew him not, and thanked him not; and will he not take care of me now that I love him? You know I love him. Leave my God and the people of God for Satan! No! Let me die where I am, and let me die of hunger, too, rather than leave the service and the people of my Saviour. He feeds my soul: I shall not die, but live.'
"Finding her immoveable, they left her without a sigh; but other emotions possessed her soul. You,' addressing her son and daughter, will soon forget me, but I will not so soon forget you; for while you sing and dance with the heathen, I shall be weeping for your souls, and praying for you, my children.' After their de parture, she became an inmate of the family of Magame, the husband of her grand-daughter, and who, with his wife, were believers. With them she remained till her death. Her mind was ever alive to divine things, and she appeared to put the highest estimate on every word coming from God. She was never absent, even in sea
sons of greatest weakness, from public worship. Latterly, having entirely lost her eyesight, she would totter along with a staff in one hand, and groping with the other, to hear the words of her Saviour.
Visiting her one day, on hearing my voice, she eagerly stretched her withered arm, adding, I like to feel you, though I cannot see you, but this will not be the case in heaven.' She continued, I have been thinking how good Christ my Saviour is to me, that I can still hear his voice.' She always appeared to have her heart full of love to her Redeemer. Wherever she was, or at whatever hour of the day or night, she poured forth of the good treasure of her heart. She was all peace and contentment. A short time before her death, Mrs. M. observing that there was a want of comfort in the house from the daughter being at a distance with her own mother, sent an individual to make her room more comfortable, with a little food daily suited to her weak condition. This she considered too great kindness to such a worm, as she often described herself. She could not find words to express her obligations to God for every little kindness.
“A night 'or two before her dissolution, I remained with her several hours, expecting each to be her last on earth. When conversing with those present about her probable age, she remarked, I am not old-I only began to live when I first knew and loved the Saviour. My former life was a nothing, or a dream. I was asleep till a stranger came to me-it was Jesus. He cried " Awake! awake!" I awoke and beheld his hands and feet which my sins had pierced, and then I died with horror. My heart died within me. I said, "Let the anger of God destroy me, for I have slain his Son." I felt I was a murderer! I felt I was made of sin! I was not a worm but a serpent. My heart died, I became as a corpse. The eagles of heaven saw my body-they were descending to devour it, but Jesus' came again, and said, "Live!" On being asked if she had any misgivings, in the certain prospect of soon entering into life in the unseen and deathless state, she replied with great ardour, How can I doubt when Christ has done all for me! I am not my own-I am part of his body.'
When referring to the unmingled happiness enjoyed in heaven in the society of saints and angels, Yes,' she added; but it is the presence of the Saviour that makes that happiness. Could I be happy were He not there? No.' She appeared to have no ebbs nor flows of feeling. From the abounding fulness of the heart her mouth spake. She was much in prayer. Her lamp burned with a steady flame, throwing a lustre on everything around her till it died away in heaven's pure day. To God be ascribed all the praise! She was truly a brand plucked from the burning-a trophy of the power of the everlasting Gospel; for she had been a sinner of no common order-a kind of priestess of the unmeaning and polluting rites of heathenism. Her faith was simple as it was sincere; and, considering her great age when she was aroused to a sense of her danger, I was frequently surprised at the extent of her knowledge, and the clearness of her views on divine subjects."
ON visiting Mrs. L, and telling her how much good the colporteurs are doing, she retired a moment from the room, but soon returned with a piece of gold. As she put it into my hands, her tears flowed freely, and she said, "This piece of money belonged to my poor boy, who is now dead, and I can make no better use
of it than to devote it to sending the Gospel among the poor. It was saved by him; and were he now alive, nothing could give me greater joy than to see him freely making a like disposition of this money." She could say no more. The remembrance of her darling boy, who was drowned but a few months before, choked her utterance. She had attended him in his helpless infancy, and watched, with a mother's love, the unfolding of his infant mind. She had seen him pass safely through the period of infancy and childhood, and then, by a mysterious providence, suddenly snatched from her sight for ever.
REMARKABLE CONVERSION OF A SAILOR.
In my labours as agent of the New York Bible Society, I am frequently cheered by the assistance of pious seamen. Some of them manifest a spirit of devotion to the cause of Christ, and an interest in the spiritual welfare of their shipmates.
Some time since I was introduced to J. M. C. When he arrived at this port he was induced to go to a temperance house to board, not from any love to temperance or its friends, for he was a wicked, reckless sailor. He was soon invited by the keeper to join the "Marine Temperance Society;" but he declined on the ground that the "members drank secretly," and, strange to say, it was strongly impressed on his mind that the landlord was one of those who took a glass "now and then." He accordingly watched him. One Saturday evening he started out, and the sailor followed him through different streets, till he came to No. 38, Hamilton-street, where the keeper went in. "There," said the sailor exultingly, "I have got you now, there is where you get your grog," After a moment's pause, hoping to catch him in the very act, he went in, but instead of a bar room he found a sailor prayer meeting. The Holy Spirit was there, and an arrow of conviction pierced his heart. He remained to the close of the meeting, and was led to "search the Scriptures," and, as stated above, became a trophy of victorious grace. He soon sailed for the coast of Africa on a trading voyage, in the ship. whose crew consisted of thirty-two men and boys. I placed in the hands of this sailor a supply of the Scriptures, Tracts, &c., for the voyage.
A MARTYR'S LOVE.
A MARTYR was asked whether he did not love his wife and children, who stood weeping by him? "Love them!" said he; “Yes, if all the world were gold, and at my disposal, I would give it all for the satisfaction of living with them, though it were in a prison; yet, in comparison with Christ, I love them not!" (Luke xiv. 26.)