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(We thought it might interest WORKING FEOPLE to be addressed by writers from their own class. We advertised accordingly in the Christian Times newspaper and another journal, that we should be happy to insert the communications of working people in our January Number for 1849. We have been much gratified by receiving many more than our sixteen pages will contain. From these we have made a selection for this month, and dispensed with the leading divisions of the Magazine for their sake ; in whole or in part the remainder will appear in following Numbers. The expressions of thankfulness for “ The Appeal” in nearly all of them, could not but be very gratifying to us. We beg further communications of facts which strike our friends amongst the working class; as they are very useful guides in our humble effort to interest and benefit them.-Eds.]
“IF ALL BE WELL!”
By the Labourer's Daughter, Authoress of “ The Pearl of Days."
It was a pleasant summer's evening; the white fleecy clo glowing in the lingering beam, as the sun smiled a glad good night to the blooming earth, and kissed the mountain brow in token of a speedy return. The blackbird and the mavis sang their evening hymn, and the buzz of the insect, and the hum of the bee, became fainter and fainter. The curtains of night were beginning to close around us; all was soft, and calm, and beautiful. Nature seemed inviting us to repose upon her bosom, while she sang a lullaby to hush every restless feeling asleep. It was, indeed, a delightful evening, and its soothing influences stole over my spirit, as, at a railwaystation in the country, we waited the arrival of the evening train, to carry us to a town at a little distance. My companion was a fairhaired, blue-eyed child, of about three years old, a sunny-faced, sunny-hearted girl. The train was, by some accident, detained a considerable time beyond its hour, and we had paced backward and for. ward near the station for some time, now straining our eyes to catch a glimpse of the smoke from the engine in the distance, and then again stooping to gather a handful of pebbles, that the little one might amuse herself by sportively throwing them from her; until at length she began to get rather restless and impatient, and urgently entreated me not to wait upon the iron horse, for she would walk to her mamma herself; shortly, however, the neighing of the iron horse was heard, and the means of transit soon stood beside us.
"And now," I said, as I lifted her into the carriage, “my Margaret will soon be with her mamma, if all be well;” and when I uttered the words it seemed as if echo took them up and repeated, “If all be well!" And during that short ride the words, “if all be well,” still kept sounding in my ears, and dwelling upon my mind, with the question,
Can it be otherwise than well with us! while the conviction, that a moment might remove us from the present scene and place us in the immediate presence of the Judge of all, was vividly present to my mind,—the thought, that the slightest possible accident, or the most trifling carelessness on the part of those who had the charge of the locomotive, might cause the immediate destruction of those who had entrusted their lives to their care, and plunge a number of relatives into distress,-husbands being bereaved of their wives, and wives of their husbands,-parents of children, and children of their parents. And as the anguish of the mother of my young companion, should her lovely little one be torn from her, was pictured to my imagination, the enquiry again passed through my mind, In such a case, would all be well ? and at the same time another question occurred, Can any thing take place without the permission of Him whose wisdom, power, and goodness are infinite ? and if by His permission, can it be other than well ? can the God of love, the wisest and best of beings, do other than what is best ? No, he cannot; sinners may oppose his will to their own destruction; but whatever He permits, in his provi. dence, to occur, is and must be best for those who put their trust in Him, who are reconciled to Him through Jesus; all things shall work together for their good, is the declaration of the Spirit of truth. And if He is my God and Father in Jesus, then I am safe; I am under the protection of infinite wisdom, power, and love; and eternal truth is pledged that I shall be safe.
And reason itself tells us that it must be so; for if there is a God, the intelligent Creator and Governor of heaven and earth, then that God must be supreme. And whatever is pleasing to Him, must triumph over whatever opposes it; whatever is accordant with His nature, must be eternal as His being. Knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, emanating from Him, must triumph over ignorance, injustice, and impurity. Those who love light and follow after truth, who are separated from sin and united to holiness, who have chosen God as their portion, his work as their work, his will as their law, and who find their happiness in his love, in his triumph they too must triumph. Evil cannot reach them; as regards them it can have no being. While those who love darkness and turn away from the light of truth, who choose sin as their portion, following the dictates of their own corrupt nature, content to live like those around them, doing the works of the devil, must inevitably be overwhelmed in that destruction which shall sweep ignorance, sin, and misery into the abyss of eternal night. Evil they have chosen, and evil, unmitigated evil, must be their portion. They have loved darkness rather than light, and they, together with all that oppose the will of God, must be shut out into outer darkness, while the children of God shout aloud for joy over a ransomed, renovated world. They have turned their back upon God, refused his friendship and protection, and, in
doing so, they have deserted the only source of felicity, and have chosen misery, utter, irremediable misery, as their portion. God himself
, infinite in mercy, full of compassion as he is, cannot save them. There is but one, only one means, by which God can save any sinner, by which any sinner can be saved, that is by being separated from sin through Jesus, turned from darkness to light, changed from being the
enemy to be the friend of God. Oh, would men but think of this, would they but consider, that if they will pursue the paths of sin,if they will give wickedness a place in their hearts, and cling to folly and transgression, they must sink with them into the pit of eternal destruction! Jesus may weep over them, but he cannot save them, unless they come to him and learn of him, with their own free consent give themselves to him, and abide in him. Angels and archangels may veil their faces, and the heavens put on sackcloth, but as they gaze upon their destruction, no arm created or uncreated, can rescue them but by this one means.
Would sinners but reflect that God could find no means of salvation for perishing man but by giving up the Son of his love to death that sin might be taken away, and man's heart, by a view of the love thus exhibited, changed from the love of sin to the love of God,—that for this, Jesus freely shed his blood that man might be redeemed from sin and its penalty, could they continue as they do perversely choosing the ways of sin, heedless that they are rushing on to inevitable destruction ?
Such were the thoughts awäkened in my mind by these simple words, “If all be well!” And may I not turn to my fellow-travellers to an eternal world, and entreat them to consider whether they are the friends of God, renewed after the image of Him that created them ? If so, all must be well with them whatever casualty may occur. And, my dear reader, if you are in the path of safety, are you intelligently labouring in your own sphere, and, to the extent of your ability, in the work of the Lord, for the salvation of your fellowsinners, and daily striving to be more like Jesus in your own heart and life, daily crucifying the flesh. But, ah, if you are living at your ease, fulfilling the desires of the flesh, enjoying the present hour to your own gratification, then be assured that you are on the broad road that leads to destruction! Oh, turn and flee from the wrath to come; flee to Jesus; turn, through Him, to God; He is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by Him; He entreats you to come.
you perish, your destruction will occur by your own free choice, in spite of all his efforts to save you. He seeks the destruction of sin, but not of the sinner. He addresses you in tones of learning compassion. “As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasuire in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his evil ways
and live. Turn ye, turn ye; why will ye die."
E. What time have we poor working men got to attend to Reli. gion ? As soon as we are up, we are at work, and as soon as we have done, it is time to go to bed. I say we have “no time."
T. What you have now stated is not true, for I can prove to you that we have time and opportunity to attend to the welfare of our immortal souls. I am a poor hard working man like yourself; I work as many hours, and have just as low wages; if you will hear me, I will endeavour to explain in as few words as my humble ability will allow, that you have “time.”
E. Well, I will hear what you have to say on the subject, for I have seen that your way of living, for the last five years, has been very different to what it was before, but I have “no time.”
T. You still keep to the old excuse, “no time;" well, suppose I take your view, that you have “no time;" why have you “no time?" As soon as you are up in the morning you go to your work; you only just get up in “time” for that; you never think of God's watchful care over you while you slept, therefore you never thank him for it. How surprised you would be if you awoke up in hell! Breakfast time,-you read the newspaper or some infidel work. Dinner time, you spend in the tap-room, which I think is the next door to hell. As soon as you leave work at night you go, as you say, to pass away an hour or two at the public-house, the concert-room, the card table, the theatre, or the devil-instituted dance; what if Death should meet you in any of these places, where would your soul go? Stop and think! You return home after midnight, when your family has been at rest for hours, or your wife sits up night after night: thus you not only destroy your own health but hers also. Your children only know their father by name, for you are seldom at home, and you have no comfort. And so you go on from Monday till Saturday. Again, how do you spend the Sabbath, the best day of all the seven ? Why, sometimes, if it rains, you idle away your time in sleep ;-a person told me once he could not go to chapel because he thought it would rain (what an excuse to send to his employer, “I can't come to day, Sir, to work, I think it will rain");—or sometimes idle away your precious time in what I shall feel ashamed to mention; but you know, and so does God! Sometimes you manage to dress just “in time" for dinner; then you think what you shall do with yourself in the after. noon to pass away the “time,” for the hours seem so long; then you have a trip by the rail or the steam-boat, or visit some place where you can pass away the “time;" you return home late, sometimes the worse for drink; you feel worse on Monday morning than any other; and so you go on month after month spending your “time," as if there would be no end to it; but your "time" will soon be no longer; if you should die in this state you will be lost for ever, as sure as your name is
E. I cannot deny what you have stated, but I think you are too particular; you forget how you used to spend your “time:” in the very same way that you have been preaching me a sermon about; you know one time you took delight in all these places, you appeared to be at home; now, what made you turn your back and tongue against them?
T. I do not forget the time that I took delight in the broad way that leads to destruction; it often causes me many bitter reflections for the past.
But you ask me what made me turn my back and tongue against all these; I will inform you in as few words as I can. You know I got married (bless the Lord for that); not having so much money to fool away, I thought, instead of going out pleasuring on the Sunday, as some folks call it, I would go to all the churches and chapels in turn, just to make my remarks on what I thought of the men ; this was the only motive I had: well, I went to some of them; but, as the Lord would have it, I went into a chapel where the Gospel is preached; before the sermon was over, I felt my conscience smite me, the horror and distress I had for some time, you would not understand if I were to tell you; but I felt that I deserved hell for my past sinful life. I soon saw that “the wages of sin are death.” And now I have “no time" for those things I once had. Now, no house is like the house of prayer; no people like God's people; no book like the glorious treasure the Bible; no communion like communion with God; no work like visiting the sick, and circulating the scriptures and religious tracts on the Sunday afternoon, or speak. ing a word to the ignorant about their never-dying souls. I have “no time" to say much more at present; but if God spares my life we will talk more about this matter the next opportunity. Now, I beseech you, attend some place where the gospel is plainly and faith. fully preached, -read your bible, leave off wasting your precious time in those sinful things which we have been speaking about, and may the Holy Spirit show you the depravity of your heart, and lead you to Christ Jesus !
R. W. A.
“WE ARE QUITE AS GOOD AS THOSE WHO MAKE SO
GREAT A FUSS ABOUT RELIGION.”
My friend and neighbour, these are words often employed by you to get rid of the unpleasant questions and unwelcome importunities of those who know and feel the blessings of religion, and who ardently desire and pray that you may know them too. You use these words also as a weapon against those who devote much time and make constant sacrifices to do you good. And, frequently, when you have