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He begged a shelter from the storm. It was not in that mother's heart to refuse a sailor on such a night, and she offered him her fire-side and her food.
When he had refreshed himself, she modestly questioned him of his condition. His tale was soon told. He had been shipwrecked, and was going home, poor and pennyless, to his mother. He had been shipwrecked before. The widow asked him to tell the story of his sufferings.
He said, that in a violent gale the ship ran ashore and went to pieces. The crew were either drowned or dashed to death against the rocks. Himself and another were the only persons who reached the shore. They were thrown high upon the beach by a powerful wave. companion was senseless at first, but at last revived-alas! but to die. "He was a sweet youth," the sailor observed : "once he had been the terror of the ship for his excessive devotion to vice. But suddenly he had changed. He became a serious, praying man: as remarkable for piety now, as for vice before. When he had revived a little on the beach," said the sailor," he pulled a Bible from his bosom, and pressed it to his lips. It was this blessed book, he told me, that led him to change his way of life. Rummaging his chest one day, he found a Bible: his first impression was to throw it away; but chancing to see his mother's writing, he paused to examine it. It was his name. It made him think of his mother; of her instructions, and the instructions of his teacher. He saw his sins, and felt he was a sinner. Overwhelmed, he sunk upon his knees beside his chest; and wept, and prayed, and vowed to change his way of life. And he did change it; for he became a decided christian. After telling me about this change, (continued the sailor,) he gave me his Bible, and bade me keep it for his sake; and then falling back upon the sand, he expired with a halfoffered prayer upon his lips."
As the sailor concluded, the widow, who had listened with deep interest and feeling, inquired,
"Have you got that Bible, my friend?"
Yes, madam," said he; and he took from his bosom what appeared to be a bunch of old canvas. Carefully removing several envelopes, he at last produced a small pocket Bible, and gave it into the hands of the lady.
Tremblingly and hastily she seized it. She turned to the blank page, when, lo! her child's name, in her own writing! A death-like paleness overspread her usually pale cheek, as she made the discovery, and exclaimed,-" "Tis his! 'tis his! My son! my son!"
Nature could bear no more, and she fainted.
Here, then, we see the idle Sunday scholar at sea, away from the means of grace, suddenly profiting by the instructions of years long past. His soul felt the inspiring leaven a teacher had placed within it, and grew fit for paradise, when the teacher mourned his labour lost. How encouraging! how charming! Labour on, dear teacher, in hope. Parents, despise not sabbath-school instruction, for your child may in like manner be saved.
THE PRESENT STATE OF THE WORLD.
THE present state of the world is such as to require the most strenuous exertions, and self-denying labour, in the advancement and maintenance of the cause of Christ. The hoary superstitions of heathen nations are exhibiting symptoms of decay; the light of modern science is dispelling the delusions of ages;-the progress of liberty is preparing for the downfall of tyrannical usurpation. At this crisis in the history of the world, when millions are in a state of transition from the darkness and the deceptions of idolatry to another state of opinions,— when, convinced of the follies and fallacies of their ancient systems, they are not yet brought to the knowledge and reception of the truth,—and when infidelity and error are exerting the most pernicious influence on the minds of men, it is of the highest importance that the church of Christ should awake, and exert itself, and rise from the dust of selfishness and worldliness, to the most generous and devoted activity in the work of the Lord. You are not, therefore, in a healthy state of religion, if, by any pretext or reasonings, the plain command of the risen Redeemer, to "teach all nations," is not felt to be of paramount and unrepealable obligation. A way with the wretched delusions of modern fanaticism, and of antinomian fatalism! which, veiling their selfishness, or their sophistries, under the plea of prophetic interpretation, or a regard to the decrees of God, would annihilate all the obligations and responsibilities of the christian church, and virtually trample under foot the most explicit injunctions of the Saviour of the world! "There is much land to be possessed." In our own country what ignorance and error, and profligacy, and awful immorality abound! Abroad what millions are yet in the darkness of the shadow of death! Why should our resources and our strength be expended in self-indulgence and worldly accumulation; and why should talents and time be exhausted in strifes and controversies that divert the mind from the great object of christian devotedness? Let each one enquire, what can I effect ?—what are my capabilities and opportunities for doing good in the cause of Christ? Union and co-operation in great things, are the best method of preventing divisions and separations respecting little things. Be active for God, in humble effort, and in fervent prayer, and your "labour shall not be in vain in the Lord."-J. Fletcher, D. D.
Consider what a high honour and privilege it is, that you should be admitted to attend immediately upon the service of the King of kings. You are called to wait about his throne, his throne of grace, to which you have always free access to converse and commune with God, by maintaining fellowship with him in the performance of holy duties, which is a dignity so high, that human nature is capable of but one preferment more, and that is, of being removed from one throne to the other,—from attending on the throne of grace, to attend on the throne of glory. And then think how transcendently blessed thy estate shall be, when the will of thy God, which was here thy duty, shall there be thy nature;—when all thy thoughts and affections shall be centred in God for ever; and not the least motion of thy soul shall so much as twinkle or waver from the eternal contemplation and fruition of the infinite Deity.-Hopkins.
THERE are some christians, who, on their passage over the Sea of Life, glide smoothly on in a direct course; and, scarcely ruffled by wind or wave, they enter “full sail”* into port. Others are "led about ;" they have, as it were, to perform a COASTING VOYAGE,-and cross currents, and windy storms and tempests, are among the difficulties of their way: besides which, they often suffer from the assaults of the enemy;—but at last they struggle into the same happy port -and all is peace!
CRITICAL NOTICES OF NEW WORKS.
WARD'S LIBRARY OF STANDARD DIVINITY.
MEMOIR of the REV. EDWARD PAYSON, D.D. of Portland, United States. By the REV A. CUMMINGS. Reprinted from the Ninth American Edition, 1835. Medium 8vo. pp. 166. Price Three Shillings and Sixpence.
London :-T. Ward and Co. Paternoster-row.
If the memory of the good is precious, certainly that of Edward Payson must be for ever most sacredly cherished. His early devotion to study-his filial love, which was even in manhood one of his noblest, as well as tenderest characteristics,-his humility, dependence, and entireness of consecration, when the Lord had changed his heart, and called him into the ministry of his Son,-his faithful and most winning exhibitions of truth,-his love for the church and people of his charge, and, above all, his enlightened benevolence, which embraced all living-leading him to the exercise of sympathy, at once with the suffering and the happy of the inferior creation-with the sorrowing and the rejoicing of his fellow-men, and with God himself in his gracious plans for the happiness of spiritual beings, and the ultimate perfection of his moral empire,-his calm and triumphant departure to the realization of his hopes, and the objects of his love and faith,-are, in a lovely and touching manner, pourtrayed by the author of this work.
We commend this volume to the young minister, as a source of light and encouragement in darkness and trial; and as exhibiting a worthy model of cheerful, solemn, consistent, and energetic service in his Master's cause; and to the private christian, as a testimony to the influence of that religion which leads man to think of and practice whatsoever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.
THE RARE JEWEL OF CHRISTIAN CONTENTMENT: with a SERMON on the Saints' Duty in Times of Extremity. By the Rev. JEREMIAH BURROUGHS. Reprinted from the edition of 1655. pp. 96. Price Two Shillings.
London:-Ward and Co., Paternoster-row.
It is among the high attainments of the christian life, to bring the mind not only into submission to the divine will, but into a state of cheerful and approving acquiescence. The spirits in heaven give it forth as the highest and ultimate act of their reason, that God is just and true in all his ways; and for a saint, in this world of constant change and sorrow, privation and suffering, implicitly to coincide with them in this great conclusion, and consequently to repose with unwavering confidence in every part of the divine procedure, is to partake their joy and satisfaction. It is this which renders him content and
happy in every situation. His desires may not be all met, nor his hopes realised, but still he neither murmurs nor repines. He has no disposition to quarrel with the arrangements and dispensations of the eternal government. He knows that the present system of things is but a part of one great connected whole; and that when the plan is completed, and all events are seen in their connexion and dependance, he will become the subject of the sublimest impressions, derived from an all-pervading sense of the faithfulness and love of God to him, throughout the whole economy of both his providence and grace.
To beget this most desirable state of mind in the child of God, while on earth, and surrounded by its ever-varying circumstances, is the immediate object of the work before us. It is a piece of fine experimental divinity, worthy of repeated prayerful perusal. It will be found an excellent closet companion at all times, but especially in seasons of suffering and trial.
THE BELIEVER'S DAILY REMEMBRANCER:-A PASTOR'S MORNING VISIT. By the Rev. JAMES SMITH, Author of The Messenger of Mercy;" "The Love of Christ set forth," etc. etc. Royal 32mo, pp. 382. Second issue of Seven Thousand.
Cheltenham :-R. Edwards. London :-Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. and T. Allman, Holborn Hill.
In this little work, (as we learn from his preface,) the author" aims to speak in the closet, in the cottage, in the kitchen, and even in the field, to the different classes of the Lord's family, endeavouring to draw them nearer to their God and gracious Father." And for this sacred and happy end the work is well designed. It is composed of brief and appropriate reflections on some portion of scripture for every day in the year. These reflections are simple, practical, and truly evangelical; and will be found "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." They only require an enlightened mind, and a spiritual taste, to be appreciated and enjoyed.
THE PRINCIPLES OF NON-CONFORMITY:-a Lecture delivered at Abingdon, Berks., Sept. 16th, 1840, at the Ordination of the Rev. E. S. PRYCE, A. B. By J. P. MURSELL, of Leicester. Published by request. 8vo, pp. 24. Price One Shilling.
NON-CONFORMITY WITHIN THE CHURCH :-a Letter of Expostulation addressed to the Rev. Thomas Spencer, M. A., Perpetual Curate of Hinton, CharterHouse. By Sir CULLING EARDLEY SMITH, Bart.
London ;-T. Ward and Co., Paternoster Row.
On looking at the present state of the christian church, and the questions which are now distracting and dividing it on every hand, we are irresistibly impressed with the words of the Saviour:-" Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up!" The great Head of the church seems to have his " fan in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor." How far this purification may be effected by present and coming events, it is impossible to determine.