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" Then lead to Jesus' blood,
The secret love of God." Let this be the subject of your daily prayer; then that Spirit (whose work it is to renew the mind) will at length so act upon your heart as to make you sensibly feel, so that you will be constrained to confess, that
“ Religion should our thoughts engage,
Amidst our you ful bloom; 'Twill fit us for declining age,
And for the awful tomb." Melksham.
A POOR MECHANIC.
DO YOU WISH TO BE HAPPY ?
Man was made to be happy. He who is supremely good, who is the very essence of love, could not intend it otherwise. Accordingly, all nature is calculated to contribute to his enjoyment. Streams of bliss flow in upon him from all directions. And were man but holy, were he morally in the state in which he was originally created, he would be the happiest being in all God's universe.
But he knows that he is not answering the end for which he was created; he is evil, and only evil, and that continually; and, but for the plan of salvation which was wrought out for him by Christ, he must, notwithstanding all his advantages, be lost and miserable for ever.
We are sometimes apt to think that man might have been kept from evil, might have been made to do right. And tbere is no doubt that this might have been the case—God, by an exercise of his omni. potence, might have made sin impossible; but it is obvious that an action thus forced could not retain its rectitude,-it would be inconsistent with the character of a moral being. But the plan which our heavenly Father has devised to bring sinners back to Himself, is not only sufficient to justify his character and sustain his law-it is in perfect consistency with man's own nature. Our poet has finely digested the scripture narrative. Man, he says,
“ To expiate his treason hath nought left,
The rigid satisfaction--death for death !
All men desire to possess happiness, but how various are the ways in which it is sought! How many think it is to be found in treasures of the earth! but has there ever been one in all the world, who, possessing christianity, did not value it more than riches,—ever one that would not part with his riches, sooner than his bible hope ? We read of one who possessed both, who from an humble sphere in life mounted to the highest. In his youth he was a simple shepherd-boy, and kept his father's flock. From keeping his father's sheep he became a warrior, and subdued his country's foes. In process of time the people made him king,—the people's choice, whose confidence he never betrayed. He was a poet, too, the greatest and noblest that
He has gladdened our hearts,—be has brought happiness to the hearths of many of our English homes, and will one day sing to the families of the whole earth. This brave warrior,-this great and good king,—this sweet singer,-after attaining all he could wish on earth, exclaimed, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.” With what eloquence does this preach durable treasures ! How different this from Belshazzar's royal magnificence, when, surrounded by the princes and nobility of Babylon, met for luxurious revelry, their mirth was put to flight by four words on the wall !
And true and lasting bliss can be found nowhere but in religion. Happiness is centred here, it absolutely consists in this, and all other means are totally inadequate. My dear readers, you confess it; you acknowledge its utmost importance. Why then do you care nothing about it?
Think_here I am, an intelligent being, responsible to the author of my intelligence, entered upon a life which must continue some. where always, and I have the choice where, left with myself. Now, the time now, will affect eternity; what I do now, will meet me then. I have commenced a life unending. And the life upon which I have entered, must be one of happiness or woe: which it shall be, depends upon myself. Shall I not choose happiness?
My readers, do you not wish to be happy? then seek to be so in religion; and if you have never sought it before, oh, seek it now!
“ 'Tis religion that can give
After death our joys shall be
A MANCHESTER WAREHOUSE BOY.
“Justice, not Charity.” But writing to the class itself which fully understands and believes in its Rights, and writing to them on religion, to what good purpose could we discuss them here? And moreover we hold that,
Religion is the quickest and safest road to Civil Liberty. We fully believe that the Religion of Jesus will eventually give to working men all the Rights they seek; that if they had, up to this time, been sought by you in conformity with its precepts, you would have been now in possession of them; and that you will obtain them, and that too with the hearty good will of all good men, in proportion as you seek them by the means which Jesus of Nazareth teaches.
Yes, friends, we fearlessly affirm that those very principles of Christ's religion, which would at once make your hearts better, and your "homes happier,”—your privations more endurable, and your mercies sweeter, your deathbeds hopeful, and your eternity joyful, we believe that these very principles would soonest make you the Freemen of England, to the full extent of your wishes. Oh, let not the lover of freedom suspect the Gospel of Jesus. What else has emancipated the poor of Europe, and Negroes in our own colonies from personal slavery ? and where, at this day, is so much civil liberty enjoyed, as where the word of God has freest course among the many? The bitterest enemy of the New Testament cannot deny this. To the unreflecting it may "go against the grain" to seek their Rights, by goodness and gentleness, by enduring and meekness, with persuasion and reasoning as their only weapons; yet it was by this spirit, and by these weapons, the Gospel fought and conquered too; while as soon as its professed supporters employed force, bribery, and statesmanship in its behalf, it ceased to elevate and bless the many. We hold, friends, that a nation whose working people are Christians, could not be long held in bondage by the worst of despots; and we have, on the other hand, no hope that anything but a general and firm attachment to the principles of the Gospel, can save any nation from sinking into the hands of military or mob law.
To conclude, then, friends. We appeal to you on behalf of no new scheme, but of an old, though too little tried one; on behalf of no men on earth, as allwise, to plan and care for you, but to you yourselves on your own behalf. We appeal to you, not to work miracles and do impossibilities, but to do what is in every Englishman's power, to examine honestly, to examine as a question of eternal consequence, to examine as what you may not have another year to do it in, to examine the claims of Jesus of Nazareth to be your supreme Master, and your everlasting Saviour. Whoever will or will not believe it, (though we never heard it denied), of this we are sure, that Jesus himself was a workman's son, and doubtless worked with his own hands too, that working people were his companions,—that he lived with them, loved them, blessed them,--that he was the man of the poor, and the Friend of the poor,—and that the Jesus for whom we write is now the ever living, ever ready, ever gracious,
POOR MAN'S FRIEND. With this free expression of our views, we present the first Number of our “APPEAL” for 1849, to the working people of Great Britain, Subscribing ourselves, their honest and devoted,
Though humble Servants,
A Magazine for the people.
“Honour all men.--Love the brotherhood.-Fear God.
Honour the king."
PAGE Who has done most to Elevate the George Ledger
21 Poor ?....
13 VARIETIES. The Disownment
14 Thou shalt not take the Name The Execution of Two Highway
of the Lord thy God in vain.. 23 men.........
16 Remember the Sabbath-day to POETRY.
keep it Holy.
24 ** Flee from the wrath to come" 18 It is too late
24 NARRATIVES, ANECDOTES, &c. A Good Hope for Eternity 19 Daily Texts, FOR SUNDAY SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES.— Cover, p. 2.
TO THE WORKING CLASSES.-A Prize !-Cover, p. 3.
PRICE ONE HALFPENNY.
LEEDS: JOHN HEATON, 7, BRIGGATE; LONDON: SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, & Co., ARTHUR HALL & CO.,
AND BENJAMIN L. GREEN
May be had by order of any Bookseller.
All the Articles in the January Number are written by persons
belonging to the Working Class. It may still be had by order.