« EdellinenJatka »
tell all its letters quite well; but, unless it be taught, it will not know how to put them together: and so we may read the Bible from beginning to end, but yet shall be no better for it, until the Spirit of God shines into our hearts, and makes us understand it. Let me beg you, miss, to try again; and before you begin to read, pray to God to give you his Holy Spirit, that you may understand it; and, remember, he promises to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him.' The young lady listened attentively to old Sally, and, with tears in her eyes, exclaimed, "Well, Sally, I think you are right; but I have one difficulty in following your advice. I am engaged to be married to a gentleman; and he found me reading my Bible one day, and he snatched it out of my hand, and would have thrown it behind the fire; but it was nicely bound, and I would not let him: he said it would make me melancholy, and do me a great deal of harm; so I promised I would not read it any more." My dear lady," cried old Sally, with great eagerness, "have nothing to do with him; let me entreat you to have nothing to do with him. Make God your friend; he will provide for you; he invites you to go to him, and you will, indeed, find happiness, comfort, all you want. I have tried him many years, and he has never disappointed me, and never will." The young lady appeared deeply affected, and, having thanked old Sally for her kind. advice, shook hands with her, and left the cottage. And here we must leave the interesting subjects of this little history.
The young lady left the neighbourhood soon after, but I trust the word spoken to her was a word in season, which would take root in her heart, and bring forth fruit to the praise and glory of God. Old Sally having, I doubt not, sent up many a prayer on behalf of her young friend, is probably, ere this, gathered into the heavenly garner-a shock of corn fully ripe.
Dear reader, let us follow the advice she gave; let us study the word of God with prayer for divine light to be cast upon it, remembering it is a sealed book till God himself open to us. Upon being asked "What is the best method of studying the Scriptures?" Luther replied, "It is most plain we cannot attain to the understanding of Scripture, either by study or by strength of intellect; therefore your first duty must be to begin with prayer. Entreat the Lord to deign to grant you, in his rich mercy, to understand his word. There is no other interpretation of the word of God but the Author of that word
himself; even as he has said, 'They shall be all taught of
A poor Jew having been led to prayerful study of the Scriptures, and by them to the knowledge of Jesus, exclaimed, with astonishment, "How to understand is easy enough, but how not to understand is the difficulty;" and so indeed does the Spirit of God make clear to the mind what is otherwise shrouded in darkness.
Would you, in midnight darkness, attempt to look at the clock, or expect to see the hour on its face? and would you blame the clock because you could not accomplish your desire? "No," you would say, "I should not be stoolish, I must have light;" and you would exert yourself to obtain it. Again, would you expect to tell the hour of the day, from the sun dial, when the sky is dark and lowering, and no sun appears? No; the sun dial is perfect; every figure is distinctly engraven upon it; but unless the sun shine upon it, it is useless. Thus it is with the word of God: all is perfect there; but before you can be convinced of this, you must apply for light to Him, who is "the Light of the world." When the Sun of righteousness arises upon your soul, he will dispel the dark mists of ignorance which now surround you. Then will you see the Scriptures in their true light. You will, as it were, read with new eyes, and you will find they do, indeed, contain all you need. The more you study them, the more beauty will you see in them. You will find them a mine filled with gold-the deeper you dig, the more plentiful and precious the ore. You will say, with David, "The word of thy mouth is dearer to me than thousands of gold and silver." Do you want wisdom? you open your Bible, and there learn: "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth unto all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him."
"I will instruct thee, and teach thee." "I will guide thee with mine eye." Do you complain that the Bible yields no comfort? God answers you, “I, even I, am he that comforteth you." Feeling your own weakness, do you seek strength to enable you to fight against and overcome the temptations which assail you? My grace is sufficient for you; my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Let me, then, entreat you, dear reader, to "search the Scriptures." Search them with earnest prayer, and you shall not be disappointed. "Oh, taste, and see that the Lord is good blessed are all they that put their trust in him."
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS.
"Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it."-PROV. xxii. 6.
ON entering my school one Sunday morning, I observed a new scholar: she was a tall, pleasing looking girl, about 16 years of age, but her sickly face and dejected countenance attracted my attention and excited my interest. Upon inquiry, I found she lived in a neighbouring parish, and was persuaded to attend our school by a lady to whom she had applied for relief, and who, pitying her destitute condition, kindly gave her clothes for the purpose.
Mary was very ignorant, and I proposed she should come to our week-day school, which she told me she should like to do when she could be spared; but she had a sick mother who required much nursing, and she was her only daughter. Mary having given me her address, I promised to take an early opportunity of calling upon her; and a few days after I went to find out this poor girl. In a wretched part of the town, at the end of a long, narrow, dark passage, I came to her room; nor can I describe the picture of misery I there beheld. The room had a clay floor, and hardly any light could be admitted through the small broken window. By the side of a little fire, sat a poor man confined to his chair by rheumatism, and unable to move. He was once a soldier, but had been many years in his present state of suffering, and unfit to earn a half-penny for his family. His wife lay on a bed in one corner of the room, afflicted with a dreadful cancer, which was in such a state as every moment to threaten her life. On a low stool, by her side, sat poor Mary, who had
just recovered from a fit, to which she had been subject all her life. It was a painful visit; and more so, to find that in the midst of this distress, these poor creatures were quite ignorant of that Saviour who invites all who are weary and heavy laden to come to him, and he will give them rest. Having administered to their temporal wants, and endeavoured to direct their thoughts to Jesus, I was leaving the room, when two ragged little boys ran rudely in: they were nine and ten years old, and the sons of this poor man: they were half clothed; and their bare knees appearing through the remains of their tattered trowsers, made them look most pitiable objects. I asked if they could read? "No," they said, sneeringly. I then inquired if they went to any school, and finding they did not, I offered to send them to our boy's school; but they told me they "did not wish to go;" and when I appealed to their father, he said he "could not let them go to school." I asked how they employed their time? "Oh," said their father, "they earn a bit of brass as they can: sometimes they run errands for their neighbours, or they sell a bit of sand. They must do what they can to get a bit of brass. They are bad boys, and a deal of trouble, but I can't spare them to go to school." He allowed they seldom earned more than a penny a week. I pointed out to him his sin in thus keeping these poor lads from receiving instruction, and shewed him that he would have to give an account to God for his conduct; and having begged him at all events to let them accompany Mary to our Sunday-school, and offered to provide clothes for this occasion, I took my leave. Some weeks passed, and Mary was regular in her attendance at the Sundayschool, and appeared to listen attentively to instruction; but in vain did she try to persuade her brothers to join her. One Monday morning our schoolmistress told me that Mary had begged her to say she was sorry she would not be able to attend our Bible class the following Wednesday, as she had to go to her brother's funeral. "Her brother's funeral," exclaimed I! "Yes," (said the schoolmistress,) "I am grieved to hear those two poor boys were playing in the streets last Sunday afternoon, and they got to fighting, and one threw the other down, his head struck the corner of the pavement, and he was killed upon the spot!"
Reader! are you a parent? children God has given you? a precious charge to your care;
How are you bringing up the Remember God has intrusted and to him you will be answer
able. Do you consider that your children have immortal souls, that will live for ever either in unspeakable happiness or eternal woe? For which are you training them? It must be for one or the other-for heaven or for hell! O awful thought! May God, in his mercy, make you alive to the heavy responsibility lying upon you, and enable you thankfully to use every means to train them in the way which leads unto life. Pray that you may feel the value of your own souls, then will you feel anxious for your children. Seek for wisdom from above, that in your own conduct and conversation you may at all times set them a holy example. May God grant you seriously to consider this important subject; and when assembled around his throne, in heaven, may we meet our children there, and be able to say with joy, "Here, Lord, are we, and the children thou has given us," and spend eternity together in praising God.
WARNING TO THE YOUNG.
In walking through the streets of -, my attention was called to printed notices, placed in most of the shop windows, and you may judge how pained I was to see they were bills of enquiry after young girls who had left their homes. I was also grieved to find these papers did not all refer to one instance, but to three, and were quite unconnected with each other. The first case was that of a young girl, fourteen years of age, who had left her home, and had not been heard of for three weeks.
The second was a servant girl, aged sixteen, been missing some days.
The third, a young governess, a foreigner.
Sad to state, the bodies of these poor creatures have, during the past week, all been found drowned! I will; as far as I am able, tell you the immediate cause which led to so fearful a result. With reference to the first, I am told she was given to theft and lying; and it having been discovered she had stolen a fourpenny piece, she would not submit to the reproof wisely given by her friends, and, hurried away by her evil passions, sought revenge in self-destruction. The servant
girl of sixteen, I understand, was "not comfortable in her place." I am unable to speak decidedly as to the grounds of her dissatisfaction, but fear much of it arose from her own ungovernable spirit, and impatience of control. The young