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laden, and I will give you rest.” The widow has therein read of Him who is “ A father to the fatherless, and a judge of the widow." Her eyes have glistened through her tears as she has read the words, “ Let thy widows trust in me." The orphan has dried up his tears as he has read, “ When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up." The aged pilgrim has leaned on his staff while he has read, “ At evening tide it shall be light.” “Even to hoary hairs will I carry you."
It is the “ Boy's own book.” Here he reads, “ Wilt thou not, from this time, cry unto me, my father, thou art the guide of my youth.” “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way, by taking heed thereunto according to thy word.” It is the “ Poor man's Companion.” It is his best friend. Grasping this book, and looking up to heaven, he may calmly and firmly say, “ Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." The desponding saint here reads, “ Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee."
In the Bible the voice of God spoke. “ I will hear what God the Lord will speak." I will listen to its teachings as the Divine Oracle. When Dr. Johnson was visited on his death-bead, by his friend, Sir Joshua Reynolds, the greatest painter of his time, the dying man said, that he had two requests to make of Sir Joshua; one was that he would never use his paint on the Sabbath, and another that he would read the Bible. To these requests, thus solemnly made, Sir Joshua readily assented. Dr. Johnson knew more of men and books than almost any other man of his time. He had himself written many books. He had a very high regard for Sir Joshua Reynolds. He once said that he knew no person with whom he should have so much difficulty to quarrel. When dying, he recommended to his friend, not the writings of Burke, Plato, Cicero, Bacon, Milton, or of any other man, but the Bible. He said, “ Read the Bible.” There is no book that a dying inan so highly values as the Bible.
“ The Bible, that's the book, the book of books, on which who
luoks, As he should do aright, shall never need wish for a better light
To guide him in tbe night. 'Tis heaven in perspective, And the bliss of glory here, if any where, by saints on earth Anticipated is : whilst faith to every word, a being doth afford. A book to which no other book can be compared for excellence ; Pre-eminence is proper to it, and cannot be shared ;
Divinity belongs to it alone.
Let him that looks angry at that expression as too bold,
The Bible speaks of the highest truths. It tells the greatest wonders. It narrates the most pleasing stories. It records the lives of the very best of men and women. It tells us of Joseph, of Samuel, of Daniel, of Hannah, Ruth, the little amiable serving maid, who waited on Naaman's wife. There we read of John, the disciple whom Jesus loved—of Paul, of Timothy, and especially of Him who
“ fairer than the sons of men"-of Jesus. In Him the glories of heaven and earth are united. The Bible lifts up the veil, and reveals to us the glories of heaven. It tells us of “that other place," where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. It cannot deceive. It cannot lie. It is truth, purity, and goodness unfolded. It tells us of God, of angels, and of those who kept not their first estate.
Not all the books on earth beside, such heavenly wonders tell.” While it narrates the most interesting history, and reveals the most exalted truths, it answers that most important of all questions—“What must I do to be saved ?” The little boy on his knees, with the Bible open before him, in his own quiet room, may utter words whereby he may be saved. All the deep wants of the soul are met in the Bible. It tells us what we are, what we ought to be, how we may be made holy and happy here and hereafter. It is a torch in our hand as we walk through the valley and the shadow of death. It irradiates the grave itself. It tells us of a resurrection. It gives power to the believer to triumph over the last enemy. He sings as his soul leans on the truths of this book. “ Thanks be to God, who giveth us the
victory." While other books leave him in the dark, its light shines around him. “ Life and immortality are brought to light by the Gospel.”
It presents the holiest precepts and the most powerful motives to obedience. It seeks to unite heaven and earthGod and man—by the ends of love. It aims at binding the human family together in the holy bonds of universal brotherhood. It gives hope to the man toiling to spread truth, holiness, and love, by assuring him that the millenial day will surely dawn. The weary and sorrowful it points to an unfailing Friend, who shall wipe away all tears from off all faces.
Let this book, then, my young friends, be your daily companion. It is important, most important, that you begin life well. This you will do, if you make the Bible your guide. Take it with you, then, into secret, kneel before the Lord your Maker, and say, “ Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things in thy law.” To this my heart says, Amen.
The subject of my next letter will be the Volume of Nature.
A SISTER'S INFLUENCE.
A sister! This is one of the most tender and endearing appellations in our language, and the relationship is one from which flow some of the gentlest and most affectionate sympathies which soften and sweeten the intercourse of the family circle. , No ties of consanguinity are more delicate or more powerful than those which proceed from and entwine themselves around the heart of a lovely and affectionate sister. The names brother and sister are enshrined in the affections of every bosom, and can never be separated or forgotten. And all who bear these endeared and endearing names ought to cherish in their hearts, and manifest in their conduct, the corresponding affections of them.
Whatever be, the cause of the difference, it very often
happens that the sisters of a family are more virtuous, pious, amiable, and exemplary, in all respects, than the brothers. And no one can fail in observing and rejoicing in that benign and powerful influence which many sisters exert over their reckless and wayward brothers. Sometimes the only earthly hope of a young man is in the genial and plastic influence of an affectionate sister. For her sake, and under her influences, he will abstain from vices, which, but for those auspicious influences and regard, would disgrace her and ruin himself, and he will do things for his own advantage, which, were it not for her example, satisfaction, and gentle persuasions, he would never do.
She can entertain him and make him happy at home, or induce him to accompany her to the abodes of salutary and refined society ; in default of which, the haunts of infamy, the abodes of profligacy, and the resorts of dissipation, would be visited for recreation and indulgence.
She can gently and insensibly instil into his mind the doctrines and precepts of religion ; compel him to admire virtue and piety by a loving and winning exemplification of their heavenly grace in her own character, conversation, and life; and she may prevail on him to accompany her to the house of God, where he may hear the words of eternal life; when, but for her, he would slide into infidelity, learn to despise and scoff at religion, and spend the Lord's-day in idleness, dissipation, and revelry.
This is not a mere picture of imagination, unattainable in experience. It has often been exemplified in real life ; and ought to be so common as to be familiar to all. Many sisters are more than guardian angels to their brothers, and will be ascertained to have been such in a better world. One sister, too, may exert an influence equally benign and salutary over another, and may prove to her more valuable than all the rubies in the world.
This holy influence over both brothers and sisters ought to be the aim of all who bear this appellation and sustain this sacred relation. It ought to be acquired at the earliest period possible ; and the easiest and surest way to establish it, is for the sister to be herself virtuous, pious, and intelligent, affectionate, amiable, and agreeable. Being so, her influence may be almost omnipotent.-S. S. Treasury.
HE MISTOOK THE LIGHT. Au, that is strange! and what was the consequence ? Why, the largest steam-ship in the world, with a rich cargo, and a company of three hundred souls on board, was wrecked on a dark and stormy night on the most dangerous part of the coast of Ireland! The noble ship, which cost upwards of a million of dollars, left her port that very afternoon in fine trin, and with every prospect of a safe and speedy voyage ; and at nine o'clock she was thumping upon the rocks, the sea breaking over her with terrific violence, and threatening to send people, ship, and cargo, to instant destruction.
But how could they mistake the light? Were the captain and his officers on the look-out? Yes. Was the chart closely examined? Yes. Was the compass all right? Yes. And were the common precautions taken to keep the ship in her proper course ? Yes; all this was done. How, then, could she have met with such a sad disaster ? Why, because a light appeared which was not noted on the chart, and the captain was deceived by it. He mistook it for another light that was on the chart; and so when he supposed he was running out to sea, he was really running upon the breakers. How great a mistake, and how terrible the consequences !
Every reader is sailing on a more hazardous voyage than the “Great Britain” attempted, and has the command of a nobler vessel anda richer freight than hers; yes, richer than all the treasures of the world. Thousands of plans are laid to mislead and divert him from his course. False lights are purposely held out to betray him, and tides and currents, of almost resistless power, set against him from every point of the compass. Will he steer clear of them all? Shall we see him push out into the broad sea with a bright sky, a fair wind, and sails all set for the desired haven? Will he accomplish the voyage, and his fears and perils be a!l exchanged for the tranquillity and joy of a bappy home ? It will depend on two things