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What, then, is your trouble? Has the world ceased to comfort you? This may distress the worldling's mind, but the Christian looks for a better rest, and he is thankful for any thing which is the means of weaning his heart more from this world, and fixing it upon a better land. Do earthly props droop and fall from under you? It is, that you may seek a nobler stay, a more faithful friend, on whom you may rely, who will not disappoint you ; and will not this be thy God doing thee good ? Does all earthly good seem to fail you? All, all is working for your good. Your very trials will prove your greatest blessings. God is surely doing thee good, by his various dispensations. The hand which strikes the blow is full of kindness and love. He does not afflict willingly. He will not cause his child a needless tear, one unnecessary trouble. There's mercy in the heaviest blow. Trust, then, in God. What time you are afraid, trust in him. Trust him for all that is to come; praise him for all that is past. The mystery of God's dealings may, as it were, hang a curtain before his work, that we cannot see what he is doing ; but then, "when darkness is about him, righteousness is the seat of his throne for ever.”
Thy Father's wisdom cannot err; his love for his child is too strong to lead him to be unkind. In every event in a believer's life_in each step he takes through this wilderness—he is directed by his God, who knows the best in what way to deal with his child, and how he can best do him good.
Murmur not, then, at your lot. Kick not against the hand of Providence. Contend not with thy God. If he should declare he will afflict thee no more, it would be the worst, he could say, for he means mercy in thy sharp afflictions. His providence has a voice, if we had but the ear.
Learn to fasten thine eye, not on the instrument employed to chasten thee, but on the hand which wields that instrumentality only to effect the purposes of his great love for thee. Do not forget whose hand it is that inflicts the blow, and remember that the knife is in a tender Father's hand ; feel assured that he will not cut deeper than he knows to be absolutely necessary for effecting thy spiritual cure. He will surely do thee good; and, sooner or later, give you reason to say, with the psalmist, “ It is good for me that I have been afflicted.”
A DAY RIVER.
It is said that in Peru there is a river called the Diurnal, or day - river; because it runs with a great current by day, but is wholly dry at night; which change is thought to be owing to the heat of the sun melting the snow that lies on the mountains, but when the sun goes down and the cold night approaches, the snow hardens, by which alone the river is fed, and the channel is quite dried up.
Not much unlike this river, are all worldly contentments: which are only day comforts, but not night comforts. In the sunshine of peace and prosperity, they flow with some pleasing streams ; but in the night season of affliction, they vanish and come to nothing.
It is far otherwise with the promises of the Gospel, whose streams of comfort, in the time of trouble, do usually run most plentifully, and refresh most powerfully the weary and afflicted soul; so as to preserve it from fainting under the pressure of any evil.
ON SAYING GRACE AT MEALS; OR, IN OTHER WORDS,
GIVING THANKS. THERE are, it is to be feared, many among us who look upon this duty as quite unnecessary. Let us turn, for a few moments, to the testimony of Scripture. When Jesus fed the five thousand with five loaves in the wilderness, before he brake the bread, and gave to his disciples to set before the people, he looked up to heaven and blessed it, and then distributed it to the hungry multitude ; thus enforcing upon all who saw and heard him, the reason and necessity for this act; for it is particularly mentioned by all the evangelists, except St. John, that " He looked up to heaven,” thus plainly reminding them from whence they received all the blessings they enjoyed.
St. Paul, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, particularly al. ludes to this duty. He says, “ Whether, therefore, ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God;" (1 Cor. x. 31.) and again, in his Epistle to Timothy, he says, speaking of those who having departed from the faith, “Commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving, of them which believe and know the truth.” (1 Tim. iv. 3.) See, also, Col. iii. 17, Epb. v. 20. Heb. xiii, 15.
Can we daily pray for our daily bread, and so constantly receive it, and yet refuse to express our gratitude for these continual blessings?
Parents, especially, should remember, what an example they are shewing to their children when they neglect to perform this duty. The children, when they grow up, cannot be expected to teach their children to do what, in their youth, they were never required to perform; and thus, from one generation to another, a careless and ungodly spirit is maintained.
GRACE BEFORE MEALS,
Sanctify, O Lord, to our use these bounties of thy providence, and give us grateful hearts for all thy mercies, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
GRACE AFTER MEALS,
O Lord, for these, and all thy mercies, we humbly bless and praise thy name, through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Feb. 1845. Rev. Sır,-- In the “ Friendly Visitor" for this month an appeal is made for your opinion on the subject of drinking usages.
I cordially agree with your view, and can well appreciate the feelings that induced the reverend gentleman to withhold his approval and support of a club founded on such mistaken principles, inasmuch as it is the promoter of intemperance.
Having some years since, as an occupier, been placed in similar circumstances, if I am not intruding, I would offer, for the consideration of the members of the village club referred to, a brief outline of the progress of one established on better principles than public-house clubs, (as its success has proved,) which, in most instances, in the course of a few years, prove a failure, and grievously disappoint men advanced in years, by breaking up at a time they most require assistance. Such has been the case with several around us.
Some years since, I was induced to lend my aid for the formation of rules for a benefit society in my parish, on the general principles of public-honse clubs, except that a less amount of money should be expended for drink. As honorary secretary, I regularly attended the monthly meeting, and the club continued to flourish for two or three years. In consequence of the amount of drink of necessity introduced for the few present to partake of, intoxication and disorder, accompanied with frightful oaths, was the consequence; so that the institution intended for good) became a rëproach to the parish. I deeply regretted being the first cause, and
found it necessary not only to withdraw, but to give every discountenance to such proceedings. From that time, the club declined. I made repeated attempts to induce the members to break it up, offering to lend assistance for the forming of one on better and safer rules. At last I succeeded, and two of those excellent insti. tutions, founded on payment according to age, having come into notice, I offered them similar articles, (as far as applicable,) promising to the members of the club to be broken up, they should be taken into the 9s. class per week, without reference to age, otherwise they would, many of them, thereby have been excluded from entering any other. I again became, and have the pleasure of continuing their honorary secretary.
We at once withdrew from the public to a private house, thus avoiding any waste of money or inducement to disorder.
The business is chiefly conducted by six of the ordinary members, chosen annually, who act as stewards of their different districts, receive the monthly payments, and render in their accounts at the monthly meeting. This arrangement has given confidence and satisfaction, and we have gone prosperously on.
Our rector has revised and amended the articles, and he has become chairman and one of the trustees.
At this time (ten years from the breaking up of the old club) we number nearly 300 subscribing members, and a good show of honorary members, with a stock of upwards of £700. We have the satisfaction of having been able to relieve many in their time of sickness, assisting them in their effort to maintain their independ. ence, and encouraging a better observance of moral conduct, which is evident amongst them.
Allow me, sir, in conclusion, to say, there is not far frorn me an Auxiliary Club, in connexion with one of the better sort, which, in the first year of its existence, admitted men up to 50 years, and now at 40, who, on the payment of 4s. 6d., are free members, and entitled to 83. per week on the payment of Is. 6d. per month. This has been of very great advantage and comfort to many around us, who, by their age, were prevented from entering other clubs, and, by the Poor Laws, left to their own resources. An auxiliary, in my humble opinion, and from observance of its benefits, worthy of general adoption.
If a copy of the rules of the benefit society of this parish should be thought worthy of consideration with the “ Curate of Lincoln. shire," I shall have much pleasure in forwarding one, gratis, at any
SIX THOUSAND POUNDS FOR SNUFF.
About this sum is annually expended for snuff by the inhabitants in the Highlands of Scotland. Verily, an Anti-Snuff Society would not be amiss among those veteran snuff-takers. The Rev. Dr. Chalmers, in a speech at the late meeting of the Free Church
Assembly said, “ They had heard of the inability of the people in the Highlands to support their ecclesiastical system among them. selves. Now, in reference to that, he must say that they might do a great deal more for themselves than they were aware of. Why, he was convinced that if they deprived themselves of their pinches of snuff, they would be able to support their whole ecclesiastical system. Laughter.) He would prove this by referring to the excise returns; and to shew what might be done in this way, he would only mention that in the Highlands no less a sum than £6,000 a year was spent in snuff.”
Holy Saviour! Friend unseen!
By faith to cling to thee!
My soul would cling to thee!
While she can cling to thee!
Whispers, “ Still cling to me!"
The souls that cling to thee!
Because they cling to thee!
Saviour, I cling to thee!
FOSTER, PRINTER, KIRKBY LONSDALE.