ploymerts whep he sees others whose expression and appearanceconvey so much delight? Let there bę a cleanliness of the person on the Sabbath morning, and let it be a token of that purity of mind which should belong to the Christian. A gaudy finery of dress and appearance belongs not to the Christian Sabbath ; but neatness and cleanliness do belong to it. I have sometimes seen a knot of young men standing together at a particular part of a village, whose working dress shewed that they meant to take no part in the public worship of their God. A slovenly appearance on the Sabbath, generally shews that the Sabbath is not duly prized, and therefore not rightly employed. The meanest dress ought not, indeed, to keep a man from public worship; but still we do find, by experience, that when no provision is made for the Sabbath dress, none is made for the Sabbath duties. Let young men avoid then a slovenly appearance on the Sunday—ond let young women do the same. I have seen young girls walking about in the morning of the Sabbath-day with dirty clothes, and hair in' papers, that their finery might be fresh for the afternoon, when they expect to find more people to look at them. They perhaps neglect the morning service altogether, and dress only for the afternoon. Some even will go to morning church with the slovenly papers in their heads, and appear in full dress in the afternoon. These things shew that there is a wrong mind in those who do them. They may appear trifles; but, if they mark the state of the mind. they are not trifles, and I shall never think any thing that concerns the goud of my readers too trilling to speak of. These habits shew a spirit of personal vapity and self-conceit, and a great want of consideration of proper Sabbath feelings, and of proper respect for the house and service of God. These practices generally belong to the low girls in a parish; it would appear strange indeed to see

those in higher stations doing the samé. Perhaps this consideration may have weight with some on whom better motives are lost.


Q. Flowers wherefore do ye bloom?
A. We strew thy pathway to the tomb.
Q. Stars, wherefore do ye rise ?
A. To light thy spirit to the skies.
Q. Pair moon, why dost thou wane?
A. That I may wax again.
Q. O son, what makes thy beams so bright?
À. The Word that said “Let there be light."
Q. Time, whither dost thou flee?
A. I travel to eternity.
Q. Eternity, what art thou !-say.
A. I was, am, will be evermore, to-day.
Q. Nature, whence sprung thy_glorious frame?
A. My Maker called me, and I came.
Q. Ocean, what rules thy swell and fall ?
A. The might of Him that ruleth all.
Q. Planets, what guides you, in your course ?
A. Uoseen, unfelt, unfailing force.
Q. O life, what is thy breatb?
A. A vapour, vanishi ng in death.
Q. O grave, where is thy victory? :
A. Ask Him wlio rose again from me.
Q. O death, where ends thy strife!
A. In everlasting life.


[ocr errors]


· Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy Neighbour.''

To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.


It bas struck me that the real meaning of this Commandment is but little considered among Christians generally..

If we merely read these words as they are written, without dwelling upon them, we may perhaps imagine that their signification is simply “You shall not bear false witness against your Neighbour,” if, at any time, called to testify what you know of his character. It is only when we give our serious attention to the explanation of these words, that we find they are intended to convey to us a positive command never on any occasion

to speak falsely of our neighbours, never, whilst conversing of our acquaintances, to speak thoughtlessly and unjustly of their conduct and actions.

It is a practice much too common amongst us to discuss the proceedings of our neighbours. Whether we are assembled together in our houses, or meet accidentally in the street, our propensity to this habit is so great, that alike regardless of time: or place, we enter with avidity into the examination of our neigbbour's failings, as if bis conduct ought to be our peculiar care.' : Some may probably be ready to answer,:“. We are ready to praise the conduct of our neighbour, if it deserve praise,—why then may we not also censure when bis conduct deserves: blame?" For the most powerful of all reasons, namely, that we can seldom determine what motive induces any particular action, consequently cannot decide to what extent it deserves praise, or blame. Is it not written “ Judge not, that ye be not judged," and should we not always remember that with what measure we mete, it shall be measured to us again?"

Moreover, it is not alone the propensity which I would blame, but also the manner of indulging it. Do we not too often display a want of charity in explaining our neighbour's conduct? If he be bounteous and humane, some amongst us are ready to ascribe it to a love of shew. If he be an example of piety and devotion, the evil one instigates us to accase him of hypocrisy. If he be prudent and economical, while we are lavish and extravagant, ve tben impute to him, meanness.

I have lately read, in a well known author, that the beathens were very sensible of this proneness in man's nature, to judge his fellows; and, to illustrate it strongly, they thus imaged it, “ Every man carries two bags with him, the one hanging before, and the other banging behind him; into ibe one before, he puts the faults of others, and iàto that behind, bis own, by wbich means he never sees his own failings, whilst he has those of others always before his eyes."

Were we to consider how seldom we are capable of " rendering a reason" for our own actions, methinks we should pause before we presume to jadge ethers. To a certain extent we may be right in our inferences, but the evil I complain of is, that we generally take up any idea that best presents itself, without stopping to consider whether it be jast or false. We thuş are guilty of a double crime'; we endanger the good order of society and, what is of incomparable conseqnence, we break a positive command of Almighty God!

It is not my desire to urge all the arguments wskiol may be brought against a practice so umanly

and injurious. Nor do I deem it necessary : they are sufficiently plain. My desire is to draw attention to the subject.

Want of reflection is, in a great degree, the cause of tbis habit. If we sobmit the question to our consciences, they will tell us that we are indulging an evil and malicious propensity, a propensity which ipdaçęs as to trample beneath our feet one of the fundamental roles of our holy Religion, viz. that" of loving our neighbour as ourselves, and doing to him as we would he should do unto us."




To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.


I HAVE long wished to know of some profitable em. ployment for the aged, the sick, and children, and have been much pleased with the account of the manufacture of the straw plat in the "Reports of the Society for Bettering the Condition of the Poor." Cleanliness being indispensible in this manufacture is a great recommendation to it. If any of your Correspondents will inform me of the best and cheapest way of establishing this manufacture in a large and poor parish, you will much oblige your constant reader,

M. H.

« ElőzőTovább »