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Bible, has enkindled a light that also makes nature clear. When it is said that the three revelations of God, in nature, in the Old Testament and in the New, is a book of three parts, yet is it a book that we must begin to read backwards in order properly to understand it. But when one once rightly understands those two parts, and then again opens the first, what sermons of which he never before thought resound upon him! The disciple of Christ first rightly knows what he says, when enthroned amid the glory of nature he exclaims to him, “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground !". Yea, the Christian first rightly knows why he calls the earth holy ground, whereon the Holy One of God walked with pure feet; whereon the Son of God poured forth his holy blood in sacrifice; whereon, when consecrated anew, “ the tabernacle of God shall be with men, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” for ever and ever, Rev. xxi. 3. That is looking into the heart of God's grace, and after we have once looked into this we see the world filled with miracles of grace. Oh, with what
eyes is the book of nature then read; we can everywhere read of God, who so loved the world that he did not spare even his only begotten Son, but tore him as a leaf out of his own heart, and offered him up for the world!
He that has looked into nature with such an eye, will still less than any one else find his heart satisfied with all her beauty; but he will have presentiments-presentiments of the undecaying beauty of a new earth, of that earth upon which the children of God, when they have attained that glorious liberty which is promised unto them, shall dwell for ever and
Heavenly Father! I know and have experienced it, that everything in thy heavenly kingdom can become a preacher unto us, and that it is altogether the fault of our dull ears that nature, both in her glory and in her terrors, preaches so little unto us.
A declaration of thy glory pervades all creation ; day unto day declares, night unto night records it. 0, grant me, gracious, heavenly Father, a truly childlike heart, that I may understand this preaching. Grant me a collected mind, that in the voice of every creature I may perceive the voice of my uncreated God, my Father and my Lord. I will exercise my mind upon the holy word of thy revelation, that I may thus become more fully aware of that which thou sayest unto me in the book of nature, and from every beauty of nature as it now lies before me, let me derive an anticipation, a blessed
anticipation of what it will be when the earth, this cradle of fallen humanity, shall, together with its lord, be elevated to that undecaying glory to which thou hast destined it!
Dr. A Tholuck.
PIOUS INGENUITY. The following rencontre took place between the Rev. Dr. Payson and a lawyer of Portland, who ranked among the first in the place for wealth, and was very fluent withal. It shows Dr. Payson's insight into character, and his power to mould it to what form he pleased ; and at the same time prove that his usefulness was not confined to “ weak women and children."
A lady, who was the common friend of Mrs. Payson and the lawyer's wife, was sojourning in the family of the latter. After the females of the respective families had interchanged several “ calls,” Mrs. was desirous of receiving a formal visit from Mrs. Payson; but to effect this, Dr. Payson must also be invited, and how to prevail with her husband to tender an invitation, was the great difficulty. He had been accustomed to associate experimental religion with meanness, and, of course, felt or affected great contempt for Dr. Payson, as if it were impossible for a man of his religion to be also a man of talents. He knew by report something of Dr. Payson's practice on such occasions, and dreading to have his house the scene of what appeared to him a gloomy interview, resisted his wife's proposal as long as he could, and retain the character of a gentleman. When he gave his consent, it was with the positive determination that Dr. Payson should not converse on religion, nor ask a blessing over his food, nor offer a prayer in his house. He collected his forces, and made his preparation, in conformity with this purpose; and when the appointed day arrived, received his guests very pleasantly, and entered at once into animated conversation, determined, by obtruding his own favourite topics, to forestall the divine. It was not long before the latter discovered his object, and summoned together bis powers to defeat it. He plied them with that skill and address for which he was remarkable ; still, for some time, victory inclined to neither side, or to both alternately,
The lawyer, not long before, had returned from Washington, where he had spent several weeks on business at the Su. preme Court of the United States. Dr. Payson instituted some inquiries respecting sundry personages there, and among
others, the chaplain of the House of Representatives. The counsellor had heard him perform the devotional services in that assembly. “ How did you like him?"-" Not at all ; he appeared to have more regard to those around him, than he did to his Maker.” Dr. Payson was very happy to see him recognise the distinction between praying to God, and praying to be heard of men ; and let fall a series of weighty observations on prayer, passing into a strain of remark, which, without taking the form, had all the effect, on the lawyer's conscience, of a personal application. From a topic so unwelcome he strove to divert the conversation ; and every few minutes would start something as wide from it as the east is from the west. But as often as he wandered, his guest would dexterously and without violence bring him back; and as often as he was brought back he would wander again.
At length the trying moment, which was to turn the scale, arrived. The time for the evening repast had come; the servant had entered the parlour with the trays; the master of the feast became unusually eloquent, resolved to engross the conversation, to hear no question or reply, to allow no interval for 66
grace, ” and to give no indication by the eye, the hand, or the lips, that he expected or wished for such a service. Just as the distribution was on the very point of commencing, Dr. Payson interposed the question- What writer has said, “ The devil invented the fashion of carrying round tea, to prevent a blessing being asked ?' » Our host felt himself " cornered ;” but, making a virtue of necessity, promptly replied, " I know not what writer it is; but, if you please, we will foil the devil this time : will you ask a blessing, sir ? A blessing, of course, was asked; and he brooked as well as he could this first certain defeat, still resolved not to sustain another by the offering of thanks on closing the repast. But in this, too, he was disappointed. By some well-timed sentiment of his reverend guest, he was brought into such a dilemma, that he could not, without absolute rudeness, decline asking him to return thanks. And thus he contested every inch of his ground, till the visit terminated. But, at every stage, the minister proved too much for the lawyer. He sustained his character as a minister of religion, and gained his point in everything; and that too, with so admirable a tact, in a way só natural and unconstrained, and with such respectful deference to his host, that the latter could not be displeased, except with himself. Dr. Payson not only acknowledged God on the reception of food, but read the Scriptures and prayed before separating from the family; and did it, too, at the request of the master—though this request was made, in every successive instance, against his fixed purpose.
The chagrin of this disappointment, however, eventually became the occasion of his greatest joy. His mind was never entirely at ease, till he found peace in believing. Often did he revert, with devout thankfulness to God, to the visit which had occasioned his mortification; and ever after regarded, with more than common veneration and respect, the servant of God whom he had once despised; and was glad to receive his ministrations, in exchange for those on which he had formerly attended.
HOW MANURE SHOULD BE KEPT. The heap should be under the cover, if not of a roof at least of some straw, or earth laid above it. How does it feed the plants on the land when it has been ploughed in? Why, the rain-water dissolves out of it what it can, and the roots suck up this water and all that it contains, and then the water ascends the plant, and is dried out of its leaves, and what it brought with it is left behind. Now, what if the heap, lying out exposed to every shower that has fallen, shall have had most of its useful parts dissolved out by the rain-water before it is spread upon the land? Why then, of course, it will have lost much of its value: most of its good parts having already been dissolved out, that which is left cannot be so useful. Hear what Mr. Blacker, a gentleman who has done a great deal of good among farmers in Ireland, said to a number of small farmers and allotment tenants at Markethill not long ago. He said, " Suppose that any of the married men in this company were to get hold of his wife's teapot after she had done with it, and was to dry up the leaves carefully and bring them to her for tea the next morning; I would just ask you whether she would be likely to find out the trick or not? I imagine she would not be long in discovering the cheat; and I might venture to guess he would find out to his cost that if that was the way he was to keep her in tea, she would soon find a way to keep him in hot water. Now if the wife would feel so indignant at being supplied with tea that had been wet two or three times, how ought the farmer to feel who was supplied with manure that had been wet two or three hundred times ? It is true the farm cannot fight its own battle as well as the mistress, but there is such a thing as passive resistance; and you may depend upon it that in the harvest the farmer will be made to feel that in cheating his land by giving it manure which has lost all its strength, he has in fact been cheating himself, and that this may
have a worse result even than cheating his wife.”
COLPORTAGE FOR LUMBER-MEN. The following interesting statements are from a clergyman in Bangor, Maine, America, to the American Tract Society :
Bangor lives at present by her lumber trade, and the basis of all her operations is the cutting of logs by the lumber
Of this class there are from 5000 to 7000 who spend their winters in the depths of the forests, far from all human habitations, in cutting trees and hauling them to the the streams by cattle. They are scattered in parties of from 50 to 100 men, over tracts distant from 50 to 300 miles from this city, and dwell in camps constructed of trees and thatched with boughs. Here they live amid perpetual snows, through which the cattle break their paths, or over which they travel on snow-shoes, with the cold sometimes too intense for the thermometer to tell the story.
“ Thus they spend about seven months of the year, and as soon as the spring permits, they float the logs down the streams, lakes, and rivers in large • drives,' embracing sometimes several hundred men and some millions of feet of timber. The whole process is one of vast labour, and not unfrequently of high adventure and peril.
“ At times the leading logs become obstructed, and the whole is piled up by the force of the stream into an enormous dam, when it is necessary to cut away the under logs in order to let the overwhelming mass fall down and move on. this case men are let down from the banks of the river by ropes some thirty or forty feet; as soon as the key-log is cut and the whole drive' released, they are swiftly drawn up to save them from being crushed by the falling mass; but many a valuable life has been forfeited by the bold adventure. The whole scene is one of the most intense interest; yet there are never wanting men who rush forward to hazard their lives whenever a jam occurs. “Still they are a contented, happy, and healthy class of
But with such a life, without any religious or moral influence, we can readily imagine what character must be