페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

MEDITATIONS FOR MAY.

them at his table: so, till such time as we be sensible of our sins, and repent for piercing our Redeemer, he will not feast us, nor smile upon us.-Willison.

"Love not the things that are in the

world.”-1 John ii. 15. Hapless the votaries of the world, Soon on rocks of ruin hurl'd, Who, admiring it untried, Court its pleasure, wealth, or pride.

Is not this a sad symptom of a declining state of soul, to be so hot, eager, and anxious about the superfluous trifles of this life? Thinkest thou, O my soul, that one who walks in the view of the glory above, and maintains a conversation in heaven, can be much taken with these vanities? Do not the visions of God veil the tempting splendour of the creature? Is it not dishonourable to God, and a justification of the way of the world, for me, who profess myself a Christian, to be as eager after riches as other men ? If I had no Father in heaven, nor promise in the world, it were another matter. Let me henceforth learn to measure and estimate my condition, rather by its usefulness to God, than its content and ease to my flesh. Flavel.

“ Be not weary nor faint in your

minds."—HEB. xii. 3. As when the weary traveller gains The height of some o'erlooking hill, His heart revives, if 'cross the plains He eyes his home, though distant

still. A traveller, after a long journey, when he is weary and faint, and sits down, if he sees the town before him, it puts life into him, and he plucks up his feet, and resolves not to be weary till he be at his journey's end. O look at the crown and white robe set before you, and faint if you can; get on the top of Mount Nebo-look on the land of promise—those good things set before you; taste the grapes of Canaan before you come to Canaan.-Nalton.

66

“Rend your hearts."'--JOEL Ü. 13.

Our mouth as in the dust we lay,
And still for mercy, mercy, pray:
Unworthy to behold thy face,
Unfaithful stewards of thy grace,
Our sin and wickedness we own,
And deeply for acceptance groan.

A broken and a contrite heart is a sacrifice Christ will not despise. You must sow in tears, if you would reap in joy; for a wet seed-time doth prognosticate a sun-shiny and plentiful harvest. It was of water that Christ made the choicest wine at the marriage-feast in Cana of Galilee; so the water of true repentance will produce the choicest wine of consolation in the sacrament. When Joseph's brethren came to be sensible of their sin in selling him, then it was, and not till then, that he made them a feast and kindly entertained

It is good for me to draw near to

God.”—Ps. lxxiii. 21. Stedfast let us cleave to theeLove, the mystic union be; Union to the world unknownJoined to God-in spirit one: Wait we till the Spouse shall come Till the Lamb shall take us home.

O beloved ! let wicked men fall out with us, and hate us, and reproach us as much as they will—they cannot hurt us, if we keep in with God; therefore, my beloved, above all things get communion with God, and keep communion with God. Communion with God will yield you two heavens-a heaven upon earth, and a heaven after death. All saints shall enjoy a heaven when they leave the earth; some saints enjoy a heaven while they are on the earth. He enjoys nothing that wants communion with God.-Dyer.

FOSTER, PRINTER, KIRKBY LONSDALE.

FRIENDLY

VISITOR.

No. 333,

JUNE, 1846.

VOL. 28.

TRUE HAPPINESS. A young lady being overtaken in a shower, thankfully accepted old Sally's invitation, as she passed her cottage door, to " walk in till the rain was over.”

It is not easy to imagine a more humble dwelling than old Sally's. These only one small room, and little more in the way of furniture than an old bed and two old chairs, one of which served for a table. The window was too small to admit suffi. cient light or air. “ Oh how I pity you !” said the young lady; how miserable you must be here !” “Miserable !" rejoined old Sally, with a smile, “I am as happy as the day is long-—I have every thing I want." • But you have no one to speak to,” said Miss -; "how can you be happy here all alone ?” “O miss,” replied Sally, “I don't want for company. I am not alone. I have the best companion to cheer me: I enjoy sweet communion with my Saviour, and find he is a · Friend that sticketh closer than a brother.' He is better to me than any earthly friend, and supplies me with all I need, either for soul or body.” Well, Sally," said the young lady, “I only wish I was as happy as you are.

I have plenty of friends, and every thing I could desire. My dear parents never refuse me any thing, and yet I am miserable." "Forgive me, miss,” said Sally, "if I tell you that no earthly thing can make us happy. This world, and all that is in it, will soon pass away—but our souls will live for ever—and therefore we need something more than this world can give to make us happy. It is God alone who can satisfy us, and in his word he invites us to go to him, and he will give rest unto our

It is the love of God in the heart that gives real happiness. May I ask if you read your Bible?" "The Bible!” replied the young lady, hastily; “oh, don't talk of that; I have often been told if I read the Bible I should be happy, and I have tried till I am tired, and it does me no good at all, and I am determined never to look at it again. miss,” said Sally, earnestly ; “don't say so, I entreat you. You have not set about reading it the right way, or I am sure you would find comfort from it. A little child may be able to

66

souls.

“Stop,

G

[ocr errors]

tell all its letters quite well; but, unless it be taught, it will not know how to put them together : and so we may read the Bible from beginning to end, but yet shall be no better for it, until the Spirit of God shines into our hearts, and makes us understand it. Let me beg you, miss, to try again; and before you begin to read, pray to God to give you his Holy Spirit, that you may understand it; and, remember, he promises to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him.

The young lady listened attentively to old Sally, and, with tears in her eyes, exclaimed, “Well

, Sally, I think you are right; but I have one difficulty in following your advice. I am engaged to be married to a gentleman; and he found me readjpg my Bible one day, and he snatched it out of my hand, and would have thrown it behind the fire ; but it was nicely bound, and I would not let him : he said it would make me melancholy, and do me a great deal of harm; so I promised I would not read it any more. “ My dear lady,” cried old Sally, with great eagerness," have nothing to do with him; let me entreat you to have nothing to do with him. Make God your friend; he will provide for you; he invites you to go to him, and you will, indeed, find happiness, comfort, all yoŲ want. I have tried him many years, and he has never disappointed me, and never will." The young lady appeared deeply affected, and, having thanked old Sally for her kind advice, shook hands with her, and left the cottage. And here we must leave the interesting subjects of this little history,

The young lady left the neighbourhood soon after, but I trust the word spoken to her was a word in season, which would take root in her heart, and bring forth fruit to the praise and glory of God. Old Sally having, I doubt not, sent up many a prayer on behalf of her young friend, is probably, ere this, gathered into the heavenly garner-a shock of corn fully ripe.

Dear reader, let us follow the advice she gave; let us study the word of God with prayer for divine light to be cast upon it, remembering it is a sealed book till God himself open in to us. Upon being asked “What is the best method of studying the Scriptures ?” Luther replied, "It is most plain we cannot attain to the understanding of Scripture, either by study or by strength of intellect; therefore your first duty must be to begin with prayer. Entreat the Lord to deign to grant you, in his rich mercy, to understand his word. There is no other interpretation of the word of God but the Author of that word

[ocr errors]

himself: even as he has said, "They shall be all taught of God.' Hope nothing from your study, or the strength of your intellect, but simply put your trust in God, and in the guidance of his Spirit. Believe one who has made trial of this method." Yield not to the opinion so prevalent in this day, that “the Bible is a hard book-not easy to be understood.” It is so, if you trust to your own skill to unravel its sacred mysteries; but, when the Spirit of God reveals the word to the soul, it is brought within the comprehension of the most ignorant and unlearned, and he gives us clearly to understand all things necessary for salvation and the wellbeing of man. “He takes of the things which are Christ's, and shews them unto us.'

A poor Jew having been led to prayerful study of the Scriptures, and by them to the knowledge of Jesus, exclaimed, with astonishment, “How to understand is easy enough, but how not to understand is the difficulty;" and so indeed does the Spirit of God make clear to the mind what is otherwise shrouded in darkness.

Would you, in midnight darkness, attempt to look at the clock, or expect to see the hour on its face ? and would you blame the clock because you could not accomplish your desire? No," you would say, “I should not be se solish, I must have light;" and you would exert yourself to obtain it. Again, would you expect to tell the hour of the day, from the sun dial, when the sky is dark and lowering, and no sun appears? No; the sun dial is perfect; every figure is distinctly engraven upon it; but unless the sun shine upon it, it is useless. Thus it is with the word of God: all is perfect there; but before you can be convinced of this, you must apply for light to Him, who is “the Light of the world.” When the Sun of righteousness arises upon your soul, he will dispel the dark mists of ignorance which now surround you.

Then will you see the Scriptures in their true light. You will, as it were, read with new eyes, and you will find they do, indeed, contain all you need. The more you study them, the more beauty will you see in them. You will find them a mine filled with gold-the deeper vou dig, the more plentiful and precious the

You will say, with David, “ The word of thy mouth is dearer to me than thousands of gold and silver.” Do you want wisdom? you open your Bible, and there learn: “If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth unto all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him."

ore.

“I will instruct thee, and teach thee.” “I will guide thee with mine eye." Do you complain that the Bible yields no comfort? God answers you, “I, even I, am be that comforteth you.” Feeling your own weakness, do you seek strength to enable you to fight against and overcome the temptations which assail you ? My grace is sufficient for you; my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Let me, then, entreat you, dear reader, to "search the Scriptures.” Search them with earnest prayer, and you shall not be disappointed. “Oh, taste, and see that the Lord is good : blessed are all they that put their trust in bim."

THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he

will not depart from it.”—Prov, xxii. 6. On entering my school one Sunday morning, I observed a new scholar: she was a tall, pleasing looking girl, about 16 years of age, but her sickly face and dejected countenance attracted my attention and excited my interest. Upon inquiry, I found she lived in a neighbouring parish, and was persuaded to attend our school by a lady to whom she had applied for relief, and who, pitying her destitute condition, kindly gave her clothes for the purpose. Mary

was very ignorant, and I proposed she should come to our week-day school, which she told me she should like to do when she could be spared; but she had a sick mother who required much nursing, and she was her only daughter. Mary having given me her address, I promised to take an early opportunity of calling upon her; and a few days after I went to find out this poor girl. In a wretched part of the town, at the end of a long, narrow, dark passage, I came to her room; nor can I describe the picture of misery I there beheld. The room had a clay floor, and hardly any light could be admitted through the small broken window. By the side of a little fire, sat a poor man confined to his chair by rheumatism, and unable to move. He was once a soldier, but had been many years in his present state of suffering, and unfit to earn a half-penny for his family. His wife lay on a bed in one corner of the room, afflicted with a dreadful cancer, which was in such a state as every moment to threaten her life. On a low stool, by her side, sat poor Mary, who had

« 이전계속 »