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therefore a fit and natural season for stopping and looking back on the day. And can we ever look back on a day which bears no witness to God, and lays no claim to our gratitude? Who is it that strengthens us for daily labor, gives us daily bread, continues our friends and common pleasures, and grants us the privilege of retiring, after the cares of the day, to a quiet and beloved home?
The review of the day will often suggest not only these ordinary benefits, but peculiar proofs of God's goodness, unlooked for successes, singular concurrences of favorable even.s, singular blessings sent to our friends, or new and powerful aids to our own virtue, which call for peculiar thankfulness. And shall all these benefits pass away unnoticed? Shall we retire to repose as insensible as the wearied brute? How fit and natural is it, to close with pious acknowledgment, the day which has been filled with divine beneficence!
But the evening is the time to review, not only our bles sings, but our actions. A reflecting mind will naturally reinember at this hour that another day is gone, and gone to testify of us to our judge. How natural and useful to inquire, what report it has carried to heaven! Perhaps we have the satisfaction of looking back on a day, which in its general tenor has been innocent and pure, which, having begun with God's praise, has been spent as in his presence; which has proved the reality of our principles in temptation: and shall such a day end without gratefully acknowledging Him in whose strength we have been strong, and to whom we owe the powers and opportunities of Christian improvement?
But no day will present to us recollections of purity unmixed with sin. Conscience, if suffered to inspect faithfully and speak plainly, will recount irregular desires, and defective motives, talents wasted and time misspent ; and shall we let the day pass from us without penitently confessing our offences to Him who has witnessed them, and who has promised pardon to true repentance? Shall we retire to rest with a burden of unlamented and unforgiven guilt upon our consciences? Shall we leave these stains to spread over and sink into the soul?
A religious recollection of our lives is one of the chief instruments of piety. If possible, no day should end without it. If we take no account of our sins on the day on which they are committed, can we hope that they will recur to us at a more distant period, that we shall watch against them
to-morrow, or that we shall gain the strength to resist them, which we will not implore?
The evening is a fit time for prayer, not only as it ends the day, but as it immediately precedes the period of repose. The hour of activity having passed, we are soon to sink into insensibility and sleep. How fit that we resign ourselves to the care of that Being who never sleeps, to whom the darkness is as the light, and whose providence is our only safety! How fit to entreat him that he would keep us to another day; or, if our bed should prove our grave, that he would give us a part in the resurrection of the just, and awake us to a purer and immortal life! Let our prayers, like the ancient sacrifices, ascend morning and evening. Let our days begin and end with God.
Scene after a summer shower.-A. NORTON.
THE rain is o'er-How dense and bright
In grateful silence earth receives
The general blessing; fresh and fair,
As glad the common joy to share.
Mid yon rich clouds' voluptuous pile.
Then turn to bathe and revel there.
"The sun breaks forth-from off the scene,
With trembling drops of light is hung.
Now gaze on nature-yet the same,—
Fresh in her youth from God's own hand
Hear the rich music of that voice,
Which sounds from all below, above;
And round them throws her arms of love.
Drink in her influence-low born care,
Baneful influence of Skeptical Philosophy.—CAMPBELL
O! LIVES there, heaven! beneath thy dread expanse One hopeless, dark idolater of Chance, Content to feed, with pleasures unrefined, The lukewarm passions of a lowly mind; Who, mouldering earthward, 'reft of every trust, In joyless union wedded to the dust, Could all his parting energy dismiss, And call this barren world sufficient bliss? There live, alas! of heaven-directed mien, Of cultured soul, and sāpient eye serene, Who hail thee, man! the pilgrim of a day, Spouse of the worm, and brother of the clay! Frail as the leaf in Autumn's yellow bower, Dust in the wind, or dew upon the flower! A friendless slave, a child without a sire, Whose mortal life, and momentary fire, Lights to the grave his chance-created form, As ocean-wrecks illuminate the storm; And, when the gun's tremendous flash is o'er, To night and silence sink for ever more!—
Are these the pompous tidings ye proclaim,
For this hath Science search'd, on weary wing,
If Chance awaked, inexorable power!
Affecting picture of constancy in love.-CRABBE.
YES! there are real mourners-I have seen
Happy he sailed, and great the care she took,
He called his friend, and prefaced with a sigh