« 이전계속 »
But beside the direct comforts and blessings of the Sabbath, who can say to what extent we are benefited indirectly by the public recognition of these returning seasons. They give the character and furnish the rule, whatever may be said of infractions and exceptions.
An Englishman cannot cool down his conscience to the freezing point of open Atheism, or a practical rejection of all these means of moralization and christianization. If he skulk at home, he feels that he has no business there, when every one else is at church or chapel. If he catch the echo of their mingled songs of praise as he loiters in his little garden, he feels that what is joy to them is but a reproach to him, and though he affects to disbelieve these professions, he knows they tell the truth, as they sing together
“I have been there, and still will go,
" Tis like a little heaven below.'' But amidst this general profession of a common faith, where are those who are just now wanting to revolutionize our country? Where are our disaffected plotters against the powers that be? Where are they on Sunday? Let us see.
Here is one of them in Paris. He has crossed the Channel to see how they manage matters in that beautiful land of liberty, brotherhood, and equality. You may see him sauntering up and down the streets, with incipient moustaches and a dirty looking beard, as if the first lesson to be learned in the theory of good government, were to disfigure his features and acquire the French swagger. The shops are open, though we cannot say that business is going forward. Since the last glorious upsetting of all order, there has been very little of that. But the Parisians are in their boutiques—some of them on the counters, playing at dominoes, cards, dice, or chess; some of them looking sadly dispirited at their position and prospects, and others seeming the very embodiments of melancholy as if they thought a tax of 48 per cent. rather too high a price to pay for a few days' anarchy and bloodshed. But our countryman is picking up a Great Idea. He is going not merely to patch up our constitution when he comes home again, but to give Old England an entirely new one. And what a charming school is that in which he is studying. Frivolity and foolery, and braggart talk, and open violation of the
Sabbath, and practical infidelity and licentiousness, are the salient points in this illustrious picture. Just as our quiet, happy peasantry are wending home from church or chapel, the delegates of that great nation are threading their way from all parts towards the National Assembly. At an early hour of the afternoon the president takes the air, and one after another, or it may be, half a dozen together, discuss the position of affairs, or rather poetize on the theory of mending every one but themselves. Then amidst a hundred Non! nons! and as many Oui ! ouis ! a sprinkling of interruptions ; a fair share of cris; a large mixture of sensations, and a mouvement or two, the theory of the day is propounded, canvassed, and found wanting; and when the Assembly meet again, they go over the same ground with about the same result. And this is Sabbath work in happy, happy France! The humble lover of his country and his God in England has learned in passing through the valley of Baca to make it a well ; but the poor distracted brotherhood of that enlightened land, in passing through a well watered garden, turn it into barrenness and drought. They go from weakness to weakness, whilst their opposite neighbour goes " from strength to strength,” singing in the quaint old tones of one who has gone home before him.-
“ And now my soul like a quiet palmer
Travelleth toward the land of heaven,
But after, it will thirst no more.” But the Assembly breaks up, and the day—a day of stirs and distraction, and vanity-wears on. It has nothing of repose about it; and just as we are gathering again to evening service, the Frenchman is repairing to the Vauxhalls and Cremornes of Paris to listen to the comic songs and ribaldry of hired mountebanks, amidst the blaze of lanterns and the noise and false excitement of every unclean and hateful passion.
This then is the school of beardless chartists and clamourers
for civil and religious liberty. But how nearly allied is such liberty to licentiousness. When any man sets up for a preacher of equality, or a despiser of the powers that be, ask yourselves the question-Where is he on Sunday? Where are all those pestilent fellows and movers to sedition who have lately obtained so unenviable a notoriety? Where are the on the Sunday? We all know where they are not-among the multitude of those who keep holy day.
And is not this fact alone abundantly sufficient to satisfy all thinking minds that they are at best but blind leaders of the blind. Where are Saint Monday's demagogues on the previous day. Plotting in the halls of Socialism, or the low tavern, or on some wide and remote common, against rulers and governors of all grades, from the lowest form of magistracy to the very throne of God himself.
Shall we choose such as these for leaders in our march towards the Utopia of fools. Let this be the pass-word of all loyal men and true—“Where is he on the Sunday?" Let us not trust him even though he tell us he is serving God in his own way, by cultivating the mind He has bestowed upon him—though he lingers within the walls even of some literary and scientific institution, falsely so called. If he be not where his Master bids him be, look on him with suspicion, turn from him, and pass away. Such literature and science are developed in a prospectus now before us. Here are some of its “advantages !”
"On Sunday mornings, at eleven o'clock a general meeting of the members is held, which terminates at one.
“A dinner is provided on Sundays, at one o'clock, in a coffeeroom commodiously and elegantly fitted up, and supplied with the principal publications of the day.
“ In the afternoon at three o'clock a class meets for the study of Phrenology, aided by proficient teachers, and an extensive collection of busts, casts, and books.
“ The Sunday evening lectures will be employed in distributing healthy mental information upon philosophical and moral subjects of general interest, preceded and followed by music and singing, by the powerful organ and choir of the Institution.”
If such be the pabulum necessary to mental health, who ould not end his days an invalid ? Because of Sabbathbreaking the land mourneth ; and yet some think to pour over it the oil of joy and praise by turning the songs of the temple into the howlings of democracy. Israel with all its weight of crimes cried only in its worldliness—“When will the Sabbath be gone?” but the “ physicians of no value” who have taken up the case of Britain put it out altogether, and decree that it shall be no more!
We believe this picture is not overdrawn. We have long watched the movements of the disaffected and disloyal of the present day; and whatever may be the varied aspects of this body in points of minor moment, we think that few of them will stand the test we have proposed—Where are they on the Sunday ?
Do we want a land without its Sabbaths, or a kingdom without allegiance to the King of kings? Choose you this day whom you will serve, and let the one-voiced verdict of our readers be “ As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”
THE LAMB AND THE CHILD.
(From Pearce's “ Voice in Rama hushed.”) A little child wandered from its mother's cottage on the prairie, in search of flowers. Pleased with the pursuit, and absorbed in new pleasures, it was nearly night before she thought of returning; and then she attempted in vain to retrace her steps, and was lost in the pathless meadows. She sat down and wept. She looked in all directions, in hope of seeing some one to lead her homeward, but no one appeared. She strained her eyes, now dim with tears, to catch sight of the smoke curling from the cot she had left, but in vain. She was alone in the wilderness; and hours had passed since she had left her home. A few hours more and the dark night would be around her, and stars would look down upon her, and her locks would be wet with the dew. She knelt on the ground and prayed. Her parents in the cottage were beyond the reach of her voice, but her heavenly Father, she knew, was always near, and could hear her feeblest cry. Mary had been taught to say “Our Father ;” and in this time of sorrow, when friends were far away, and there was none to help, she called upon Him, who has said to little children, “Come unto
Mary had closed her eyes in prayer, and when she opened them she espied a lamb. It was seeking the tenderest herbs among the tall grass, and had strayed away from its mother and
The Lamb and the Child.
the flock, so that Mary saw at a glance she had a companion in her solitude, and her heart was gladdened, as if she heard the voice and saw the face of a friend.
The lamb was happy also. It played at her side, and took the little tufts of grass from her hand, as readily as if she had been its friend from infancy. And then the lamb leaped away, and Mary's heart went out after it, and she followed her heart. Now the little thing would sport by her side, and then rush forward as if about to forsake her altogether; and so she followed it, without any anxiety as to whither it would lead her. She was lost-she had no friend to help her in her distress—the lamb had found her in loneliness, and she loved it and loved to follow it, and would go wherever it should go. So she went on; and the
summer sun-was setting, and her shadow stretched away before her as if she were tall as a tree. She was thinking of home, and wondering if she should ever reach it, when the lamb of a sudden sprang away over a gentle knoll, and as she reached it, her sportive playmate had found the flock from which it had strayed, and they were both within sight of home. The lamb had led Mary home.
You see the bearing of this on your own case. You have wandered from your Father's house in pursuit of the follies and sinful pleasures of life; and oh that, like this child, you may feel your lost and wretched condition! Night-the dark and doleful night of death, is coming on, and dangers are thickening around you-dangers from which there is only one who can deliver you. You know that you have a Father in heaven-a forgotten, neglected, and despised Father, but a Father still; one who is moved with compassion towards you and waits to be gracious unto you. And oh, if you will but lift your supplications to Him, then, like this lost child, with the eye of faith, just now blinded with tears of grief because you have wandered, you will catch a sight of the lamb---even of the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, and which can take away your sin. And, like her's, your heart will go after the Lamb, and you will “ follow Him withersoever He goeth,” till at last He will lead you through the dark valley, and from thence to your Father's house, where are “fountains of living waters," and where God shall wipe away all tears from your eyes!