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We may not forget that there is one who does not wish you this. He wishes you a pleasant one, that is, an undisturbed one. One in which nothing shall warn you to flee from the wrath to come,-nothing invite you to peace, hope, and joy in Jesus Christ. He wishes to allure you unperceivingly one year forward in that road at the end of which years will be swallowed up in an eternity of remorse.

THE FIRST DAY OF THE FIRST MONTH.

How many

What a mercy that we have been spared until now. have been cut down during the last year. We might have begun this

year in hell. Oh, if we had! How dreadful the thought! But

many who began the last year as we begin this, are in hell now. They little thought that it would be so, but there they are, and now there is no redemption, there is no way of escape. They are shut up in hopeless despair. Their doom is for ever fixed. And why are we spared? To go on in sin? To abuse the mercy that has been shewn To aggravate our woe? Oh, no! We are spared that we may escape from the wrath to come, that we may secure the pardon of our sins, and that we may be happy both in this world and in that which is to come.

to us?

This is the first day of the first month, and what is our first thought? What shall we fix our thoughts upon ? Let us think of past mercies and past sins; let us think of present danger and present duty; let us think of future probabilities and certainties. Let us think of our state, what is it? Are we pardoned, or condemned ? Are we children of wrath, or sons of God? Are we reconciled to God, or living at enmity with God? Do we ever speak to him in prayer, look to him in faith, walk with him in love, work for him with pleasure, or long to be with him in glory? We cannot be in friendship with God if we do not.

Do we desire to God, that we are Do we desire to

What is our first desire to day? Is it to be made holy, to be conformed to the image of Christ, and to be used to the glory of God? Do we desire grace from God to make us like God? possess unquestionable evidence that we are born of accepted of God, that we are approved of God? please God, and to please him well in all things? ascending to heaven, or are they confined to the present world? The desires shew the state of the heart; if they are carnal, so is the heart; if they are spiritual, so is the heart.

Are our desires

What shall be our first prayer 2 Shall we pray for a special blessing, asking it of God as a new year's gift? If so, what shall we ask for? Reader, think, what would you wish God to give you to begin this year with? Let us ask for faith, that we may believe his word; for repentance, that we may be sorry for our sins; for love, that we

may cleave to Jesus; for zeal, that we may work in God's cause; and for thorough consecration to God, that there may be no mistake about our character or destiny.

What shall be our first effort? Shall it be to secure our own salvation, and enjoy the knowledge of it in our own souls; thus securing all temporal good, and escaping all spiritual evil? Let us hear and attend to the admonition of the Saviour, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these (temporal good things) shall be added unto you." Let us regard the Saviour's direction, "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you." A kingdom may be won, shall we win it? Bread for the soul may be obtained, shall we obtain it?

What shall be our first aim? On what shall we fix the eye, the heart, at the beginning of this year? Shall it be on something temporal, or on spiritual blessings ? Shall we aim to be great, or to be good? To gratify self, or honour God? To live like the beasts that perish, or as immortal, intelligent, and accountable creatures? Dear friends, let us aim high. Let us aim to be all that God is willing to make us, to obtain all that God has promised to give us, and to enjoy all that God has engaged to confer on those that seek him. Let us aim in all we do to get near God, to be made like Jesus, to prepare for eternal glory, and to make all about us as happy as we can.

Remember, this may be our last year. The sentence may have gone forth, "This year thou shalt die." Let us therefore be ready. Let us make sure that we are in Christ, that we are God's workmanship created anew in Christ Jesus, that Christ is in us the hope of glory, that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and that we are made meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.

New-Park-Street, London.

JAMES SMITH,

AN APPEAL TO THE SWEARER.

Friend, is it not written, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain ?" Then, why do you swear ?

The

There is no just or available plea for any sin; but you have not the semblance of an excuse for yours. The Seducer pleads that he is impelled by the force of his passions, and cannot control them. Liar, that he does it to get gain, to make peace, or to hide the faults of others. The Robber, that he was driven to crime by poverty, and that the destitution of his family made him a thief. The Murderer, that his victim had injured him, and that under strong provocation

he perpetrated the deed. But the Swearer has not even a vain excuse for his profanity. Then, why do you swear?

Your oath gives no weight to your testimony; for no reflecting person places confidence in the word of a swearer. "He that will swear will lie," is a true proverb.

"It chills my blood to hear the blest Supreme
Rudely appealed to on each trifling theme.
Maintain your rank, vulgarity despise;
To swear is neither brave, polite, nor wise;
You would not swear upon a bed of death-

Reflect! your Maker now could stop your breath!"

The unconverted surely need not add to their rejection of Christ and despising his gospel, the awful guilt of calling for their own damnation. It will come soon enough! As Mr. Romaine was one day walking in the street, he heard a man call upon God to damn him. Mr. R. with the hope of placing the wretched swearer's sin clearly before him, stopped, and thus addressed him, "My friend," shewing him a piece of money, "I will give you this if you will deliberately repeat that oath." The man was startled, and replied, "What, Sir! do you think I will damn my soul for half-a-crown?" On which Mr. R. remarked, "Why, as you did it just now for nothing, I could not suppose that you would refuse to do it for money." The poor creature, struck with this reproof, replied, "God bless you, Sir, whoever you are, I believe you have saved my soul; I hope I shall never swear again as long as I live."

Oh, swearer! have you never thought what it is to be damned? Remember, it is to be shut out of heaven, and to be shut up in hell! Be advised, then, be entreated, by one who desires your welfare; cease from swearing, and begin to pray. This will be new work for you, and you may allege that you know not how. But where there is a will there is a way. Do you really feel the burden of your guilt? Do you really hate sin, and wish to forsake it? Do you wish to have a new heart, that you may love Christ, that you may serve Him, and dwell with Him for ever? Then "take unto you words, and turn unto the Lord," and I will tell you of a prayer-book which abounds with prayers just suited to your case. That prayer-book is the bible. Take the fifty-first Psalm, and let that be your prayer, and especially pray over and over again the 10th verse, till you get a new heart and a right spirit." Then you may use the Publican's prayer, in the 18th chapter of Luke and the 13th verse, "God be merciful to me a sinner;" and the Prodigal's prayer, Luke xv. 18, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, &c." Above all, implore the Holy Spirit to teach you; and then, as you are kneeling at the foot of the cross, angels will proclaim in heaven, "Behold he prayeth." The devil will lose his prey. Pardoned, justified, and sanctified, you will be blessed in life, joyful in death, and happy for ever.

Bury St. Edmunds.

66

CORNELIUS ELVEN.

Narratives, Anecdotes, &c.

THE FREEHOLD LAND MOVEMENT.

"'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower

Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume;
And we are weeds without it."

"If thou mayest be free, use it the rather."

Couper.

Paul.

William. Oh, John, is it you? I have just come from the lecture on the Freehold Land business. Were you there too? I did not see

you.

John. I wished very much indeed to be there, but it was our prayermeeting night; and I am not ashamed to say I thought it more important for me to be there. But you shall tell me all you like about it. W. I have not been, John, to a prayer-meeting since I left the Sunday school, yet I cannot blame you. However, to my business. We engaged by one of our Resolutions to endeavour each of us to enlist one man as a member of our Association, and I must have you. I can tell you more another time; but the practical point is this, we must save 1s. 6d. a week for five years or so, and it will get us a piece of freehold land large enough to put us on the Register as voters for the county.

J. I am sure I can save that without much trouble; you shall have my name at least.

W. That's good. Well, but I must tell you of some things that will I know please you. It was stated that out of £15,000 contributed by the working men at Birmingham, not less than £11,000 were considered to be saved from the public-house,-that it had led many to begin saving for themselves who never thought of it before, that it would be likely to provide a great deal of garden land for the poor men near our towns,-and that the moral good effects of the plan were so great, that many who would not help us for Universal Suffrage were heartily co-operating to get us Freehold Land.

J. You judged right. All this does please me, and it ought to please any poor man. Well, now, I must tell you of our Meeting and our Resolution; for we, too, resolved that each of us would endeavour to add this year one, at least, to our Register of Freeholders.

W. Your Register! Why, I thought your churches never troubled themselves with such matters, and I should have supposed you had not above four or five Freeholders at the utmost.

J. We have much too few; still we have more than that,

we have,

I hope, nearly 300. Indeed, we are a Freehold Land Association, and always were so.

W. What can you mean?

J. Well, I mean that every member of our church, at least so we hope, is a Freeholder; his title-deeds are perfect; his estate is unencumbered; no one can take it for debt; it gives him a large share in the government of his country; in a word, I may say it will always be of more worth to him than he can ever calculate.

W. I cannot see, John, how you mean to make out all this; but I think you are going to say something for Religion.

J. You will not be able to gainsay anything that I have said. Every true christian is a Freeholder of the Kingdom of Heaven, of "the better country," of the "Heavenly Canaan," of "the New Heavens and the New Earth wherein dwelleth Righteousness." His right is clear, for it was purchased for him by the Saviour with his own blood, more precious than gold that perisheth. It is unencumbered by any charge, for Christ has paid all. The title-deeds are perfect, for God has sealed them, and the Spirit of God witnessed them. It cannot be alienated, for Christ says he "gives unto them eternal life, and no man is able to pluck them out of his hands." The share of power it gives is marvellous, for it is said we "shall reign with Christ upon the earth." And as to its worth, who can calculate the worth of perfect happiness and no sorrow,-unspeakable joy and nothing to mortify,— and this throughout eternity ?—and then-I admire, indeed, the plan to give us a little freehold estate for this life for so small a sum per week; but think of a freehold of joy, glory, and honour for eternity, -and all for nothing, yes, really for nothing; for it is to be had only through faith in Him who purchased it for us, and withous money, and without price! Do let me enrol you!

W. (with a heartfelt sigh.) John, you have spoken earnestly, but not more earnestly than your case deserves. You bring better days, though they were boyish ones, to my recollection. This Freehold business will always now remind me of what you have said.

J. My dear friend William, you know that no one has ever entered more heartily than I into every thing that might tend to raise our class; and this Freehold business, from the time I heard of it, pleased me exceedingly; but while dwelling on the thought of being a voter, and having a piece of land to call my own, perhaps a garden, I could but think, Well, and how long shall I enjoy it? perhaps this night my soul may be required of me, and then-oh, how thankful did I feel to be able to go on; yes, and then-I have a far better Freehold; worth more than the Freehold of all England, or of the World, unworthy, utterly unworthy, as I am of the least.

W. John, you thought right. I well remember learning when at Sunday school the text, "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?"

J. And oh, William, how could I but grieve, that hundreds who are so eager (and rightly) to get a Freehold in this world, should not be more eager to get a Freehold in the happy world to come! The

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