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of religion will venture upon the borders of a lie; either to defend their own conduct, to avoid some inconvenience, to procure a supposed advantage, or sometimes merely to embellish a story. Admitting the possibility of a sincere person being surprised into the declaration of an untruth, yet, where instances of this kind are frequent, I hardly know a fouler blot on profession, or which can give a more just warrant to fear that such professors know nothing aright either of God or themselves. The Lord is a God of truth; and he teaches his servants to hate and abhor lying, and to speak the truth from their hearts. I'may add likewise, with regard to promises and bargains, that, though the law of the land requires, on many occasions, oaths and bonds to secure their performance, that person whose word may not be safely depended upon without either bond or oath, scarcely deserves the name of a Christian. Where grace is in the heart, the tongue will be likewise bridled by the law of love. If we love our neighbour, can we lightly report evil of him, magnify his failings, or use provoking or insulting language? Love thinketh no evil, but beareth, hopeth, and endureth, and acts by the golden rule, to do unto others as we would they should do unto us.
They who are under this influence will be gentle and compassionate, disposed to make the most favourable allowances, and, of course, their tongues will be restrained from the language of malevolence, harsh censure, and slander, though it be familiar to us as our mother tongue, till we are made partakers of the grace of God. The tongue is also bridled by a regard to purity; agreeably to the precepts, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient,” Eph. iv. 29; v. 4. Grace has taught believers to hate these things; how then can their tongues speak of them? There are professors, indeed, who can suit their language to their company. When with the people of God, they can talk very seriously; and, at other times, be well pleased to join in vain, frothy, and evil conversation. But this double-mindedness is of itself sufficient to discredit all their pretences to a religious character.
Upon the whole, though perfection is not to be expected ; though true believers may, on some occasions, speak rasbly, and have great cause for humiliation, watchfulness, and prayer, with respect to the government of their tongues ; yet I think the Scripture, and particularly the apostle James, in the passage I have mentioned, authorizes this conclusion:
that, if the tongue is frequently without a bridle; if it may be observed that a person often speaks lightly of God and of Divine things, proudly of himself, harshly of his fellowcreatures ; if it can be affirmed with truth that he is a liar, a tale-bearer, a railer, a flatterer, or a jester; then, whatever other good qualities he may seem to possess, his speech betrayeth him : he deceiveth himself, his religion is vain. Let us think of these things, and entreat the Lord to cast the salt of his grace into the fountain of our hearts, that the streams of our conversation may be wholesome.
WHO WILL BE THERE?
"His eye is in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
Satan and his angels will be there, to tempt, to suggest thoughts of impurity, words of evil, and deeds of sin.
“Your adversary, the devil, walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
Wicked men, profligates, thieves, gamblers, profane swearers, debauchees, prostitutes, will be there.
“ Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat.
Will you be there? Dare you go, remembering that you must give an account of yourself before God? Dare you
ask God's blessing on your amusement ?
What matter who wins, if you lose your soul ?
in the gospel. Its first step is the knowledge that you are a sinner, lost eternally, if not pardoned and saved by God's grace; its next steps are, repentance towards God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who “once suffered for sins,
the just for the unjust, that he might bring us unto God.”
Pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit to bring you to Christ; “ believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved," Acts xvi. 31 ; and then, as a saved heliever having begun this blessed
race, press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus,” Phil. iii. 14.
THE LOSS OF THE SOUL.
WHERE this event takes place, there are sad and awful aggravations ; and this is one; it is the man's own deed; “For what is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?" If the soul be lost, it is not the act of his neighbour, or of his minister; it is the man's own act. This will be the terrible scourge of lost souls in perdition. “I did it; it was my own act; I bartered with my soul !” And that is an incalculable loss. A man may lose his property, he may calculate how much; a man may lose friends, he knows how many; but oh! if the soul be lost, who can tell the amount of that loss? If the soul perish, it is, once more, an irreparable loss--a loss that cannot be retrieved. A man may lose health, and yet, by the blessing of Providence upon medical aid, he may become more healthy than before; a man may lose property, his all in the world, and yet, by industry, and the smile of Providence, he may become richer than before; a man may lose friends, God may raise up others in their room ; but oh ! if the soul is lost, it is not for a day, a month, or a year, but for eternity; and it is that word “ eternity,” which gives emphasis to bliss or woe, to ease or pain, to hell or heaven. It is eternity which makes a hell of hell, and a heaven of heaven. Rev. R. Newton.
LEADING CHILDREN TO GOD. A MOTHER, sitting at her work in her parlour, overheard her child, whom an elder sister was dressing, in an adjoining bedroom, say repeatedly, as if in answer to his sister, “No, I do not want to say my prayers, I do not want to say my prayers.”
older persons, thought the mother to herself, often say the same thing in their hearts, though they conceal the feeling even from themselves.
Mother,” said the child, appearing, in a minute or two, at the parlour door: the tone and look implied that it was only his morning salutation.
“Good morning, my child.”.
The mother laid down her work on the next chair as the boy ran towards her. She took him up. He kneeled in her
lap, and laid his face down upon her shoulder, his cheek against her ear. The mother patted him affectionately.
“ Are you pretty well this morning ?" said she, in a kind, gentle tone.
• Yes, mother, I am very well.”
“I am glad you are well. I am very well too; and when I got up this morning, and found that I was very well, I thanked God for taking care of me.”
“ Did you?” said the boy, in a low tone-half a whisper. He paused after it; conscience was at its work.
“Did you ever feel my pulse ?" asked his mother, after a minute of silence, at the same time taking the boy down, and setting him in her lap, and placing his fingers on her wrist.
No, but I have felt mine.”
Well, do you not feel mine now-how it goes beating ?” “ Yes !” said the child. “If it should stop beating, I should die.” “ Should you ?” “ Yes, and I cannot keep it beating.” " Who can?" 66 God.” A silent pause.
“ You have a pulse too, which beats in your bosom here, and in your arms, and all over you ; and I cannot keep it beating, nor can you. Nobody can but God. If he should not take care of you, who could ?”
“I do not know," said the child, with a look of anxiety ; and anoth
“So when I waked this morning, I thought I would ask God to take care of me. I hope he will take care of me, and all of us.”
A long pause ensued. The deeply-thoughtful and almost anxious expression of countenance showed that his heart was reached. “Do you not think you
had better ask him for yourself?” Yes,” said the boy readily. He kneeled again in his mother's lap, and uttered, in his simple and broken language, a prayer for the protection and blessing of Heaven.
THE SUNSHINE. We should travel far before we met with one who did not like sunshine. Its beams affect the heart quite as much as
they do the eye; and young and old, gentle and simple, revel in the golden light.
It would be hard to say what creatures are the most fond of sunshine ; for when we look at the lamb skipping in the field, the lark warbling in the air, the gnat dancing in the sunbeam, the bee buzzing from flower to flower, and the butterfly fluttering over the garden-wall, we cannot tell which is the happiest.
But if lambs, and larks, and gnats, and bees, and butterflies, love sunshine, human beings ought to love it more, for they know the Almighty hand that bestows it.
“ Who loveth not the sunshine ? Oh!
Who loveth not the bright
Who said, “Let there be light ?'
The ruddy glowing beam ?
Upon such golden stream ?” Do you see the two old men walking and talking together, leaning upon their sticks? They can hardly make a walk of it, for they seem to be sad cripples, and yet their faces are lit up with smiles. What can it be that has brought them out into the fresh air, and made them look so light-hearted ? Why, nothing in the world but the sunshine.
And the old dame, sitting in her arm-chair, a yard or two from her own door, with her little grand-daughter beside her, was it the sunshine that brought her out too? Was it? To be sure it was ! I told
before that its beams affect the heart as much as they do the eye, and that young and old, gentle and simple, rejoice in the golden beam.
Look at the children, may God bless their little hearts ! Here a group of girls; there a circle of boys; and yonder a scattered throng of both boys and girls, pursuing their different pastimes. They have no food to provide for their dinners; no rent and taxes to pay; their hearts are light, and their cares are light also.
“Oh! what can be the magic lure
That beckons them abroad,
Or tread the grassy sward ?
That has calld them out to play,
All humming in our way.”