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Mistakes respecting Public Worship. 343 to endeavour, by a discourse, to point out to the congregation the great doctrines of the Gospel, and to urge them to seek for the help of divine grace, that they may be enabled to adorn those doctrines by holy and Christian lives. The sermon often leads to the knowledge of what is rightteaches the doctrines of Scripture,-shews what are our privileges,—and what are our duties ;-lays before us the hopes which a Christian has, through Christ, and how he is to prepare to live with Christ for ever : and, when a person is brought, by means of preaching, to see what is required of him, he will then see the need of prayer; and, instead of despising such a privilege, he will see that there is nothing to be done without it. Thus, preaching leads to prayer, and thus opens a way to all the blessings which belong to Christians. It becomes us then to ask ourselves with what expectations, and in what state of mind we go to the house of God. It never sounds well when we hear a person say, " I shall go to day to hear Mr. Such-a-one.” This is as if we went only to hear, and forgot that we were to pray. But, even among those who do go principally to hear, there is often another great mistake which renders their hearing of very little use to them. They talk of the style of the preacher, and his manner,--sometimes even of his appearance, and the gracefulness of his attitudes, and the tone of his voice !but all this time they forget the message that he brings, and they consequently go out of the church no better than they came in ; perfectly indifferent to all that has been said to them. It requires no words to shew the miserable state of such hearers as these. Let them listen to the voice of Scripture—“Take heed how ye hear.” · It is the custom of most clergymen, after the sermon, to offer up a prayer that the doctrines which they have preached through divine grace may produce an effect on the lives of their bearers, and of themselves. We ought to come away from a sermon in the spirit which that prayer teaches us.
“Grant, we beseech Thee, o Almighty God, that the words which we have heard this day with our outward ears, may, through Thy grace, be so grafted inwardly in our hearts that they may bring forth in us the fruit of good living, to the honour and praise of Thy name, through Jesus Christ, our Lord."
When we offer this prayer, we should think of what has been the subject of the sermon, and pray that it may produce its proper effect. --The late Mr. Rennell, of Kensington, when offering this prayer, was in the habit of introducing in it an allusion to the particular subject of his discourse. This seems an excellent method of bringing back the minds of the hearers to the subject before them, in case they are beginning to wander.
-For instance, if the subject of the discourse had been “ humility,”-or“ faith," or charity," the petition would be, “grant that the words which we have heard this day......may bring forth in us the fruit of “humility,"-or“ faith," or "charity, to the honour and praise of Thy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord." ;
DOCTOR FRANKLIN. In turning over the leaves of my little * Biographi: cal Dictionary," I found a short account of the life of Dr. Benjamin Franklin, which I here copy, as I think it may be amusing to some of my readers.
“ Dr. Benjamin Franklin was born at Boston, in America, in the year 1706. His father was a soap. boiler and tallow-chandler in that town, and, being a man of good understanding, be educated his son himself. His elder brother was bred a printer, and Benjamin was placed under him; but, a difference
si . Benjamin Franklin. : 345 happening between them, he removed to New York, from whence he went to Philadelphia; where, after serving as a journeyman for some time, he attracted the notice of Sir William Keith, the governor, who persuaded him to set up for himself. Accordingly, he came to England to procure printing materials; but, things not then succeeding to his wish, he worked as a journeyman printer in London, and, in 1726 he returned to Philadelphia, where he became clerk to a merchant. He next entered into partnership with a person named Me. redith, in the printing business, which he afterwards conducted alone. In 1730 he was united to a widow lady. About this time, he contributed towards forming the public library at Philadelphia, and in 1732 he published his 6 Poor Richard's Almanack,” in which he gave some useful rules of prudence, and good management. In the year 1736, he was appointed clerk to the general assem-. bly in Pennsylvania, and in the following year, he became Postmaster of Philadelphia. He was of a very studious, and philosophical turn, and be made several discoveries in electricity. In 1747 he was a representative of the general assembly, in which situation he was of great service to his country. By his means, a militia bill was passed, and he was appointed Colonel of the Philadelphia regiment. In 1757 he was sent to England as agent for Pennsylvania. At this time, he was chosen Fellow of the Royal Society, and was made a Doctor of Laws by the Universities of St. Andrew's, Edinburgh, and Oxford. In 1762 he returned to America, but soon afterwards was employed on a mission to England. After this, he again returned home. He was very active in the war between England and the colonies, and was sent to France, where, in 1778, he signed a treaty of alliance, which proa duced a war between that country and England, In 1783, he signed the treaty of peace, and in 1785
returned to America, where he was chosen President of the Supreme Council. He died in 1790.”.
Now when a man rises from a humble station of life to one of power and dignity, there is generally something in his conduct which has helped to account for this advancement. It is not indeed every man who can thus raise himself in the world; neither is it perhaps desirable. A man often rises higher in life without being at all happier for it; but still we cannot help rejoicing when we see that diligence and industry prosper. Without these, a man will not rise from a condition of poverty ;-he will, on the contrary, be probably very poor and very unhappy, from want, and difficulties, and debts. We do not enter into any particulars respecting Dr. Franklin's character or his opinions, but the following statement will shew us that it was not without industry, and care, and good management, that he rose to his high station in life.
When Benjamin Franklin was a young man, he worked in a printing-office in London. He attended diligently to his business, and made it his endeavour to lay by some money. He drank nothing but water. The other workmen, to the number of about fifty, were great drinkers of beer. But Franklin knew very well that it was not drinking beer that gave a man strength; and he proved this, for he was more strong and active than any of them. The rest of them had four or five shillings to pay every Saturday night, but Franklin had no expence of this sort. When he saw how his fellow-workmen were living, he said, “ They are sure to be poor, they wish it, they do not try to have it otherwise." Still he lived in perfect good will with them all. He would never take bread and cheese, and beer for breakfast; but he got a basin of watergruel, with a slice of butter in it, and toasted bread, and a nutmeg. This he considered a whole.
347 some, nourishing, and comforting breakfast, and did not puzzle the head, as beer does. He said he never would keep “ Saint Monday.” He was very quick and clever, and thus got that sort of work which was the most profitable. He rose early in the morning, and went to-bed soon at night, and gave so little trouble to the family where he lodged that the mistress of the house, rather than part with him, let himn have his lodging at a lower price than she would have taken any body else for." He was particularly careful of his money, and he bought nothing that was not absolutely necessary, except à few books. When he got on in the world, he made it a fixed rule to be regular and exact in all his payments. He used to say of himself, “I took care to be industrious and frugal, and I tried to avoid every thing that appeared contrary to the character of a diligent and prudent man of business. I was plainly dressed; I was never seen in any place of public amusement; I never joined in sports of the field. I took care not to seem as if I thought myself above my business, so that I often wheeled home, in a barrow, the paper that I had been buying at the warehouse. Thus merchants were glad of my custom, and thus my trade flourished.”
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APHORISMS OR MAXIMS. Be as tender of the reputation of others as of your own.
We are most likely to obtain our desires, when we are rendered willing to submit them to the will of God.
When men are in such haste to set out on journeys, or to engage in business, that they have not time to worship God, they are likely to proceed without his presence and blessing.