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company always acceptable. The life of Beattie, which I have just done reading, may be an encouragement to every young man, to purify his morals, and improve whatever talents he may possess. His genius and application to books were the means of bringing him from obscurity; and procuring for him, the highest honours, and the friendship of some of the first characters of the age—and what is still more extraordinary in England, the favourable notice of the king and queen.”
“ If you can maintain yourself comfortably, your mind ought to be perfectly at ease. Young men in every description of business find many difficulties at first setting out, and they are wisely ordained, to teach them patience, industry and steadiness—and to prepare them for the enjoyment of better fortune, when these virtues shall have procured it for them.”
“I do not know any vice that is more fatal to peace
than a passionate temper—it is a misfortune to be born with one—but it is a crime to indulge it. Passionate people are not only unhappy themselves, but they make every body around them wretched. On the contrary, those who are truly good tempered, are always beloved—even when they have very little else to recommend them.”
"A holy family will begin the day by family worship, and all who are not necessarily detained at home, or who are of years to receive instruction, will attend public wor. ship the whole day. May we not, it is asked, be as profit
ably employed at home in religious reading? We can learn more from books than from the preacher. It may be that we can-yet the preacher who devotes his time entirely to the study of his subject, will probably be instructive. A word may be dropped which may be blessed to the hearer—and the opportunity may be lost for ever by a voluntary absence. God has promised to bless the preaching of the gospel—and preaching has ever been found to be a means of grace. Besides, the command is imperative—“ Reverence my Sanctuary"—“Neglect not the assembling yourselves together.” Do those who wilfully stay at home, really spend the day in religious reading and meditation? Is it not rather an excuse for the neglect of
“Any one of this class (an unbeliever) who will read, will find ample refutations of every thing that infidels have said. The gentlemen of whom you wrote had “ fine talents”—let him apply them to this subject, and he will find his difficulties will soon vanish. The first step is, study the evidences for the genuineness and authenticity of the Bible—without this conviction, nothing can be done--for it is there only, that answers to all difficulties can be satisfactorily given. To insist upon understanding all that is revealed, is, of all things the most ridiculous and unreasonable; because we know and are sure that a multitude of things exist which the utmost powers of man have not yet enabled us to comprehend. Let a man reflect but on his own structure and powers! A letter will not serve to answer all you have stated.
“With respect to the crimes recited in the Old Testament being “sanctioned"—they are merely related except he meant the old cavil at the conquest of Canaan. Had not the sovereign as much right to destroy a vile people by the sword, as to destroy Herculaneum by lava—or Lisbon by an earthquake? His perfect right is the only answer.”
CONVERSATIONS ON THE BIBLE.
BOOK OF RUTH.
MOTHER. During the administration of the judges, a period of more than three centuries, we have seen the Israelites becoming exceedingly degenerate, and suffering severely for their sins. Insulted, subjugated, at war with their neighbours, and sometimes even among themselves; agriculture would be neglected, and famine necessarily
This cruel addition to their miseries is not expressly mentioned in the records which I have been reviewing, but it is indicated by the distress of that people in the days of Gideon, when the ravages of the Midianites were so wide and incessant, that no sustenance remained for either man or beast, and the wretched inhabitants were obliged to secrete the scanty gleaning of their fields in the caves of the mountains. To the time of Gideon then, we may very reasonably refer the famine which occasioned the introduction of the illustrious Ruth into the commonwealth of Israel, and the beautiful episode of that part of her life.
CATHARINE. The rural scenes and simple manners described in the book of Ruth, are delightful, and she herself is sweetly interesting—yet I do not know why you should call her illustrious, MOTHER. Her own amiable character entitles her to
praise; but her remarkable fortune has made her illustrious in history. An alien, accidentally incorporated into the nation of Israel, she became the grandmother of the celebrated king David—and remotely, though in a direct line, the ancestor of the Benefactor of mankind, the divine Messiah.
I will give you a brief outline of her story.
A famine, “in the days when the judges ruled," had driven a man named Elimelech, with his family—a wife, and two sons—from his residence in Bethlehem-Judah, to seek a temporary relief in the country of Moab. Here, Elimelech soon after died, and his sons, Mahlon and Chilion, connected themselves with the Moabites by marrying Orpah and Ruth. In a few years this tie was severed by the death of both the young men, and poor Naomi, now widowed and childless, desired only to return to her native country! Ten years had elapsed since she came from Canaan, and peace and plenty had again blessed the land. She therefore left the scenes of her sorrow, and, accompanied by Orpah and Ruth, began her journey back to Bethlehem. When they had gone a reasonable distance, Naomi turned to her daughters-inlaw and bade them farewell, desiring that they would now return to their friends. United to her, by a sentiment of ten rness for the companions they had lost, and veneration for her own virtues, they both declared their resolution not to be separated from her! To abandon their country and kindred for her, seemed to the generous Naomi too great a sacrifice, but the affectionate attachment of her daughters penetrated her heart. Weeping and embracing them, she acknowledged all the kindness