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heaven.” That is, the power of making laws to govern the Church. Amongst the Jews, the phrase, “ to bind and loose,” meant to prohibit, or permit. This power, which was now conferred on Peter, and afterwards on all the Apostles, (Matt. xviii. 18.) was a power of declaring the laws of the Gospel, and the terms of salvation. The true meaning of the passage is this: to the Apostles he gives the power of unlocking, as it were, and opening the mysteries of the Gospel, and, inspired by the Holy Spirit, whatever they should declare to be his will on earth, should be confirmed in heaven.
KIRDFORDIENSIS. (To be continued.)
DO GOOD UNTO ALL MEN.
Gal. vi. 10.
These are the words of St. Paul, and they are written for our improvement and admonition. I am afraid there are some to be found among the poor, who, when they read or hear this, and similar exhortations in the Bible, such as “ to do good, and lend," " to give unto the poor," " distributing to the necessities" of others, are ready to say, “ But this does not concern me, I am in poverty myself, and can hardly supply my own wants; so it cannot be expected that I should do good to others, when I often need the hand of charity myself." Well, my friends, God, our gracious and considerate master, does not require from us, what is really out of our power to perform; but still, I cannot think that your reasoning is true; I do not believe that you are excused from all acts of kindness and charity toward others. If you think that charity consists only, or chiefly, in giving money, you have a very limited
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Do Good unto all Men. and unfair view of the subject. You may not, perhaps, have any of that to spare ; neither had Peter and John, the Apostles of our Lord, when the lame man asked an alms of them. Peter said, “ Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee.” And what he did was of far more service to the poor man than a trifling alms could have been. But you say, I have not the power of working miracles; I cannot heal the sick by my word, or restore the limbs of the lame man as Peter did. True, my friends, in this respect you cannot imitate him, and therefore you are not required to do so. Yet there is a way in which you may be “ eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame;" by doing all in your power to alleviate their distress. Can you say from your hearts that you have “ done what you could” for others, to shew that love for them, commanded by God, and of which your Saviour set you so perfect an example? If you desire to be a humble follower of Him“ who went about doing good,” you will listen while I tell you a few of the many ways in which you have it in your power to do good to the souls and bodies of your neighbours.
You, who have young children, for instance, and are therefore obliged to stay from Church sometimes, that your husband may go; could you not with very little more trouble, take charge for an hour or two of the children of your neighbours, that they might have more leisure to attend to their immortal souls, and might have the opportunity of attending public worship? Surely you might do this. Again, cannot you spend an hour on a Sunday evening, and a few spare minutes now and then, in reading the Bible to your poor old neighbours, who cannot read, if happily you are able to do so ? - You, who know the blessing of the Gospel, cannot you speak a kind word of warning or instruction to the young, the ignorant, the thoughtless, and unsteady? Cannot you visit the fatherless and widow in their affliction, and endeavour to comfort them ? You, who are just entering into life, and have received a good education at some Sunday or charity school, cannot you sometimes instruct the poor children of others, who cannot obtain for them the like advantages, and are unable to pay for their schooling? Think of the many ways in which you might be useful to the mother of a large and helpless family, by going of errands for them, and occasionally assisting in nursing. And especially in times of sickness, my cottage friends, what opportunities of doing good are open before you !-good, which at that time would be more needed and more valued than a gift from the purses of the rich. Should it not be a delight to you occasionally to have it in your power to shorten the tedious hours of a restless night, by your kind and soothing attentions, and to do all that you can to lessen their pains, and increase their little comforts ? Even could your poor neighbour afford to hire a nurse, she would probably be far less attentive and watchful than you would be; or she might be some young person, who wanted that knowledge and skill which perhaps you possess. Judge from your own experience, if you are a mother, what distress such an one must feel, when lying ill in bed, at the thought of her poor little ones unattended and neglected! and then think how much you may lessen her care, by sometimes looking after them, and supplying their little wants. Your time and attention, your advice and experience,-nay, even your kind and consoling words, might be of more real value at such a time, than any thing the rich have in their power to bestow. Think of the poor widow, “ who cast into the treasury two mites, which make a farthing, while many that were rich cast in much," and of our Saviour's high commendation of her:-and why? Because s she did what she could.” And remember, too, his encouraging words, “ Whosoever shall give a cup of cold water in my name, (that is, for my sake, out of love to me,) shall in no wise lose his reward.”_" As therefore you have opportunity," my friends, “ do Agur's Prayer. good unto all men.” “ Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love," and see that your charity“ be without dissimulation.”
N. H. D.
AGUR’S PRAYER. PROVERBS Xxx. 8, 9.-"Give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with food convenient for me; lest I be full and deny Thee, and say, Who is the Lord ? or lest. I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."
What Agur prays for is such a proportion of the things of this world as may best answer the end of living, with respect both to this life and that which is to come. It is, therefore, an universal prayer, and may be used by the high or the low, just as men are taught to pray universally, “ Give us this day our daily bread.”
When riches, or any other capacity of doing good, are employed by the possessors of them to their proper end, they are doubtless a great blessing; but if poverty exposes men to fewer vices and temptations—if it have a better effect upon their mind and disposition-if it preserve them from pride--if it cause them to abstain from sin-if it be the means of making them more temperate, more humble, more pious,-then plainly it is the most to be desired, as being the most virtuous, and consequently the most happy state. And remember, that there is one great virtue of such necessity to our happiness, that without it we cannot be happy in any condition whatever, yet with it we must be so, let our state be what it will ;-and this is contentment. We may be “ clothed in purple,” and “ fare sumptuously every day;" we may "join house to house and field to field,” yet without contentment we can have no true gain, no peace, no happiness. Dissatisfaction is a state of want in the midst of abundance; even in plenty it is the meanest poverty. We often complain of the labours, and sorrows, the troubles, and disappoint. ments of life; let us hence seek relief from them, and happiness where alone it is to be found in the favour of God and the testimony of a good conscience. Let us be contented, and patient, and diligent in our duty, - fearing God, humbly receiving the Gospel of his Son, and seeking, by the help of his Spirit, to live according to his commandments,then shall we be made eternally happy with those everlasting pleasures and that “ fulness of joy which is at God's right hand," — a happiness, compared to which all that we can possibly enjoy or suffer in this life is but as “ a drop of the bucket,” or “as dust in the balance.”
C. S. R. Nov. 8, 1830.
humpatient, android conscie the favour
THE PEACEFUL SHORE.
Christian, repose ; thy danger's o'er ;
Temptation's flattering gales no more
Thy weary pilgrimage is o'er,
From sin's dread path thy youth forbore,