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There is but one clew that we can implicitly follow, would we securely thread its mazes, and escape being devoured by the hydra-headed monster—Error ;—there is but one torch that nothing can or will extinguish, by whose blessed light we "see everything clearly,"— we thereby find "it is written." (Oh! may we "hear and fear," lest a judicial blindness fall also upon us f) "Wherefore the Lord said, As this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men; therefore, behold I will proceed to do a marvellous work and a wonder: the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." Despising "the simplicity that is in Christ," they seek to be clothed as their new friends, with the meritorious works of fallen man. "A covering too narrow for a man to wrap himself withal." "They cover with a covering but not of my spirit." It is a polluted garment, infected with the "fretting leprosy" ,of original sin: can it be a fitting apparel wherein to present themselves before a pure and holy God? Should we not rather imitate him, who "casting away his garment, rose and came to Jesus;" and cast away "the garment spotted by the flesh?" then washed in the "fountain opuned for sin and for uncleanness,"—submit to be arrayed in the robe of our Saviour s righteousness? He will then, and then only, graciously accept the good works He enables us to perform; the "myrrh, aloes, and cassia," of His merits, His allsufficient atonement, will render them an acceptable sacrifice; as the "first fruits" we offer to God in evidence of "a true and lively faith," a renewed and sanctified heart. We must "deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him ;" but, oh! let no child of Adam talk of meriting the heaven he has forfeited! The thick woods are the perverse wills and wild imaginations of men; "the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth," the approaching night is the mental darkness that will most assuredly overtake every man "who maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord." Being out of "the way" and thereby "having the understanding darkened," "they err in vision, they stumble in judgment;" then does "pride compass them about as a chain, violence covers them as a garment;" so that those who "trust in the Lord with all their heart, and lean not unto their own understanding," "become a reproach, a scorn, and a derision unto them." The book that changes into a two-edged sword is of course "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God"—" Holding forth the word of life." "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds." "For the word is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow;" "My sword shall be bathed in heaven;" "If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to mine enemies." The trees and rocks are the schemes and devices of men, "Every plant which my Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up;" "They may build, but I will throw down, saith the Lord." The tall shadowy form is Time, as my readers Vol. IX.—April, 1847. i New Series, No. 16.
have doubtless guessed: "yet a little while, and he that shall come, will come, and will not tarry." The dark stagnant river is death. "The night cometh when no man can work." As time conducts to darkness and silence, he has the wings of a bat, and as that creature loves to skim over streams, so Time is represented as hovering over the river of death, which deepens the gloom of his departing aspect to those whose misspent hours, and neglected opportunities and means of grace, fill them with darkness and dismay; "This shall ye have of mine hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow;" but to those "whom when the Lord cometh he finds watching," Time, as he recedes from their view, wears only a brighter semblance than before, the gate of death is to them but the porch of life! having "fought the good fight," they know, "there is a crown of glory laid up for them." The barge with gold-tipped oars is—Purgatory! It is they who before their final summons are purged from "the old leaven," and "sleep in Christ," that shall "awake to everlasting joy." The branch—is Christ, "He shall raise up before Him a righteous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper," "Whose dominion shall be, from everlasting to everlasting :" and as the olive is the symbol of peace, so His gracious promise, "When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee, through the rivers they shall not overflow thee," shall "speak peace" to the soul of the departing believer, while underneath him shall be "the everlasting arms;" and thus,
When heart and flesh alike shall fail,
To stay the fleeting breath;
And smooth the bed of death.
What though life's tide be ebbing fast?
'Tis almost filtered through—
'Tis heaven—disclosed to view!
Mark! now the pilgrim's race is run,
He sleeps beneath the sod—
She soars,—to meet her God! H.
A PLEA FOR IRELAND.
An Address To The Christian Ladies Of Great Britain.
Daughters Of England,—Permit a friend, in the spirit of affectionate humility, to address you at the present season; a season of no ordinary calamity,—a season when the cries of our fellow-creatures, perishing from famine, call aloud not only for the sympathy, but the aid, the self-denying aid, of all who have hearts to feel for the sufferings of others. There needs no lengthened argument to prove the
reality of the miseries of unhappy Ireland, or to convince the public mind of the melancholy fact that hundreds of our race are continually swept off by the hand of famine, and hurried to that eternity for which it is to be feared too few of them are prepared. No, the reality of this sad truth is too well attested; and it is not to raise the tear of useless pity, or wring the heart with unavailing sorrow, that this appeal is made to the ladies of Christian Britain, but it is to urge them to prompt, to energetic, to self-denying exertion, to exertions, the reward of which will be felt in the secret approval of their own conscience, and the smile of Him who shall, before an assembled world of men and angels, say unto them, "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me."
But does the heart of one who may read these lines reply, I grieve for Ireland, but I have done all I can—gladly would I relieve the distress for which I mourn, but my means are inadequate. But is it so? is it so indeed with the vast majority of British ladies? can they not spare from the sums they annually expend in dress, in amusement, in a variety of trifles, what would dry the orphan's tear, and cause the widow's fainting heart to sing for joy? Oh, could they but be eyewitness of the harrowing scenes of deep distress, which mock the feeble powers of description, they would return from the heartrending spectacle with a keener and more enduring conviction, that a season like the present demands, imperatively demands, more than ordinary self-denial. The writer of this address, though she would grieve to incur the displeasure of any, feels compelled to ask whether the general style of dress among professing Christians is in accordance with the simplicity of the Gospel standard; whether there be not too much conformity to the world in its habits, its maxims, its opinions; and whether an unscriptural dread of being accounted singular, leads them not to shrink from that honourable appellation; bestowed by the pen of inspiration on the chosen generation—■" a peculiar people;" and if it be true that the Gospel requires of its followers simplicity and self-denial in every age, and under all circumstances, how much greater need is there for them in the present distress, when what if not absolutely unlawful before but only not expedient, now becomes absolutely criminal.
But we would fain hope, yes, and we know, that many will readily come forward and gladly from their abundance contribute to the relief of the distressed. There have also been examples bright, noble; though humble examples of self-denying charity among the poorer class, which should shame the selfishness of those who spend, to pamper pride and vanity, those riches intrusted to them by their Maker as talents to be employed to His glory, and to be accounted for hereafter. But we leave such characters; we know of no arguments sufficiently powerful to warm the hearts of those whom pride and selfishness have frozen, we gladly leave them (rejoicing they form not the majority of the daughters of our Isle), and turn to those who know what it is to be actuated by the constraining influence of the love of Christ, that strongest, sweetest, most powerful incentive to self-denying exertion; oh, can they reflect on that Lord and Master, "who though He was rich, for their sakes became poor, that they through His poverty might be made rich," and then requite His love to them by neglect of their starving brothers and sisters in unhappy degraded Ireland? No, this cannot be; yet, again, would the writer observe, the calamity of Ireland is no common one, and calls for no common self-denial. That homely, but well known proverb, "Necessity is the parent of invention," may, with a verbal alteration, be applied here. Love will be the parent of invention, love to our fellow-creatures will sweeten self-denial, and be ingenious in suggesting numberless instances of doing good and curtailing superfluities.
There is also another powerful motive to be urged on those who take an interest in the various religious Societies established to spread the glorious Gospel of the blessed God. The deep distress of the Irish and the general sympathy excited for them, will, it is much feared, materially injure these valuable Societies whose names awaken feelings of love and veneration in the Christian's heart. And must ought be diminished of the too scanty contributions hitherto given for their support? Must we cease to support them, or support them more feebly, because common humanity demands our utmost aid for Ireland? Surely, the alternative is a painful one, and if absolutely necessary, from which Society shall we first withdraw our aid? Shall it be from the Missionary which sends the heralds of salvation amidst "burning climes and frozen plains" to unfurl the glorious banner of the cross, and proclaim to a dying and a guilty race the rich offers of redeeming love? Shall we leave the poor heathen to crush himself beneath the wheels of the car of Juggernaut, to live the slave of superstition, and perish as he has lived in hopeless darkness, "untaught, unsanctified, and, for anything we can tell, unsaved?"
But if pity for the heathen in foreign lands leads us to shrink from' the thought, can we better withdraw it from the Church Pastoral-Aid Society, and leave the Christian heathen of our own country, as sheep without a shepherd, a prey to Popery, Infidelity, and Socinianism. Shall we weaken the hands and discourage the hearts of those whom Christ has appointed the shepherds of his flock, by refusing to assist in sending more labourers among a dense and benighted population; can we answer for the soul of our brother, whom we thus leave to wander among the dark mountains of error till lost in the dark gloom of eternal night, when we might have aided in lighting the lamp of eternal truth, whose cheering rays should pierce through nature's darkness, and guide to that bright city which needs no sun or moon to shine in it, for the glory of God does lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. But can we not better cease to support the Protestant Association? What? when Popery is rearing its head on high and lifting its voice louder and louder; a time when principles hitherto held so sacred in our Protestant land are abandoned, and Protestantism seems shaken to its very centre. Is this a time to begin to forsake a Society so assailed by Romish hatred, so neglected by latitudinarian indifference, a time when, if ever, this Society needs our warmest support, our every encouragement, our most fervent prayers, that it may be an instrument in the hand of the Lord, of preserving our land from a worse than Egyptian darkness; from a famine more deadly, more fearful, than that which now depopulates Ireland; a famine, not of bread and
water, but of the bread of life, the support of the never-dying soul? But has the London Society for promoting Christianity amongst the Jews a less urgent claim upon us? Shall we leave the lost sheep of the house of Israel to persist in their blind rejection of the promised Saviour, without one feeble attempt to aid those faithful men who are labouring to point the Jew to Jesus, to show him his own Messiah in the crucified Nazarene? Oh, how shall we answer for this neglect to Him whose command was, "Beginning at Jerusalem?" Is it wise to relax our efforts when the signs of the times indicate the approach of that period, when the Lord will speedily put his hand a second time, to gather together the remnant of his people, when the Desire of all nations shall appear to reward his faithful servants, and to punish those who came not to the help of the Lord—to the help of the Lord against the mighty?
No, let the world account us enthusiasts, let them pity our folly, laugh at our fanaticism, and misrepresent our motives; but let us endure all things, give up all things, rather than choose the dreadful alternative of leaving the Irish to perish, or suffering these, and kindred Societies, too numerous, however excellent, to be mentioned here, to fall unsupported to the ground.
Christian sisters, suffer the word of exhortation, "Be not conformed to this world." Remember, "its friendship is enmity to God;" ye profess to be strangers and pilgrims here, live then like them. "The time is short." What thou doest, do quickly. Be faithful in the talents, be they ten, five, or one, committed to your keeping, and oh, may He (who spake as never man spake) say of you and me, "She hath done what she could!"
COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE.
JOHN HUSS—JEROME OF PRAGUE,
In the year 1400, the Jubilee -was
their faith, and were promised to have a safe conduct to and from the Council. Huss was burnt a year before Jerome, and before his death he predicted that a swan should be raised up from his ashes, whom they would never be able to consume; the confessor of the faith assured them that after an hundred years, his adversaries would have to give account before both him and his God; and ever afterwards the Bohemians inscribed this declaration upon coins, together with the figure of Huss in the act of preaching. Jerome's death wa3 witnessed by a Florentine writer, of the name of Poggio, who describes it to have been sustained with Christian and heroic fortitude. The substance of his narrative is as follows: — Jerome of Prague was allowed two days for reflection, and to give him time to make up his mind for a recantation; and many eminent persons importuned him to turn from his religious opinions, particularly the