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Reflections on the New Year.
7 my desires for the future? Let me beg of you all my friends, carefully to do this upon this new year's day: and that I may not give you the advice without the example, I will begin with this little examination of myself,
To the first question, I answer, that I have just entered on my fiftieth year. Like the young who may read this, I once thought this a great age, and so it is; and for my use or abuse of so large a portion of time, I shall soon be called to render
“Am I prepared for this ?” How awful is the thought! Conscious of my manifold transgressions, and how very little I have deserved the opportunities of improvement which have been given me by God, I can only answer,—“Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord! for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.”—“God be merciful to me a sinner!"
Secondly. In entering on a new year, what ought to be my present feelings? That which is past cannot now be recalled, but I will consider this present moment as in my own power, and listen to the declaration of my Bible, that“now is the accepted time,” that “now is the day of salvation.” Join me then in the prayer, that such it may indeed be to you and to me,-that, should the morrow, which no one can call his own, he given us, we may be spared “not to repeat our sins, but to repent of them."
Let us listen to our Saviour's gracious invitation, and “come unto him that we may ind rest to our souls :"— let us earnestly pray, that we may be enabled to trust in his all-sufficient merits to obtain our pardon for past sins, and look to his restraining grace to amend and purify our souls, that we may be kept from a repetition of them. Without him, we are, at the very best, weak and sinful, and can do nothing : yet, with him, we must do our very utmost to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present life. We must remember that
the time in which we have to use these endeavoury is short. Distant as we are all accustomed to think the day of judgment, let us remember that the instant of our death, will be to each of us this tremendously awful day; to the very best it must be thus awful; what then will it be to the careless unrepenting sinner?— Of what vast importance will it, at that day, be to each of us, how we have conducted ourselves here !-whether we have sought or have rejected the means of grace and salvation, so mercifully offered us in the Gospel,--and consequently, whether, when we are called before the judgment seat of God, we shall hear the voice of our Lord say, “Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you,"_enter thou into the joy of thy Lord:"-or, “ Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire?"
But let me caution you against trusting to your own strength. However sincere may be your present sorrow for the sins you have committed, trust not to that to secure your future amendment; you will perhaps forget this sorrow; the tempter who has heretofore begiiled you, will beguile you again, if you seek not that strength which can alone save you from his power. Pray, therefore, with your whole heart, for grace to help you; and let past experience teach you, that at all times you need this help. In this sense of your own weakness, turn to the Lord your God in true humility, in true repentance ;-have a lively faith in the power and atonement of your Redeemer, through whose merits alone you can hope for pardon :- upon this rock rest your hope of salvation ; in this faith make your prayer, that the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit may so sanctify your heart, and direct you in all you do, that the nearer you come
the hour of your death, the nearer you may be to the kingdom of heaven.
E. M. January 1st, 1825.
Prayers for New Year's Day.
9 PRAYERS ON NEW YEAR'S DAY.. ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, in whose hands are life and death; as thou hast suffered me to see the beginning of another year, grant I beseech thee, that another year may not be lost in idleness, or wasted in unprofitable employment. Let not sin prevail over me during the remaining part of my life, and take not from me thy Holy Spirit; but as every day brings me nearer to my end, let every day contribute to make my end holy and happy. Teach me, O Lord, to use all thy gifts with temperance, and enable me to run with diligence the race that is set before me, that, after all the trials of this life, I may obtain everlasting happiness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
ALMIGHTY God, merciful Father, who hast granted me such continuance of life, that I now see the beginning of another year, look with mercy upon me. As thou grantest increase of years, grant increase of grace. Let me live to repent what I have done amiss, and, by thy help, so to regulate my future life, that I may obtain mercy when I appear before thee through Jesus Christ. Enable me, O Lord, to do my duty with a quiet mind, and take not from me thy Holy Spirit, but protect and bless me, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
THE HOUSE APPOINTED FOR ALL LIVING.
Job xxx. 23. I Am fond of going into a church-yard, and particularly so when it is in a quiet situation. Such a one I happened to see near a village through which "I passed towards the close of a warm day dur
* Sent by an anonymous Correspondent..
ing the last summer. The extreme beauty and repose of the scene, together with the welcome shade of some large trees, induced me to sit for some time, indulging myself in such serious reflections as are always awakened in my mind, when surrounded by the graves of my fellow mortals, who àre gone to their long homes.”—Surely, thought I, any opportunity thus afforded me of contemplating the grave, “ the house appointed for all living,” is one of those means of grace which our Heavenly Father affords to all his erring children ; one of those for which we “ bless the Lord” in the General Thanksgiving in our Church Service, and which, if duly improved, may enable me to rest my
hope of glory on a sure foundation.” I shall soon be like those whose remains now surround me;“my dust will return to the earth as it was, but my spi. rit must return unto God who gave it.” As it now is with these, so will it then be with me; the state of trial in which I am placed will be at an end, and there is no repentance in the grave.- What an awful thought! Let me seriously consider my present state. If, at this moment, my soul were to be required of me, could I say “to die is gain?" With true contrition of heart I confess I could not expect to hear those gracious words addressed to me, “Come thou blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for thee.” Let me then “ while it is called to-day,” listen to the words of my Blessed Saviour; let me not refuse his invitation to " unto him that I may have life." Let me humbly, and with all my heart, pray for the aid of the Holy Spirit, that I may have the will to come to him in true faith, and be preserved from turning aside out of the way of his holy commandments during the remaining time that he may think fit to continue me in this state of trial. Then, as the hour approaches in which I must, like these my fellow beings, “lie down in the dust," I may look forward Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb. 11 with a joyful hope, that when “all who are in the grave shall hear his voice and come forth," I, through bis merits and atoning sacrifice, may be called to the “ Resurrection of Life,” and dwell with him for ever.
INSTRUCTION OF THE DEAF AND DUMB.
LETTER THE SECOND.
(See Page 558.) As I hope you have been encouraged, by my first Letter, to try how you and your dumb child can talk together by signs, I shall go on with what more have to say to you about the best way of managing this language of signs. I advise you to be always on the watch to observe what signs for things the child makes of his own head; and, the very next time the child and you see that thing together, then do you make the sign for it, that he taught you, and so it will be settled between you, that that sign is the name of the thing; and he will be encouraged by finding out how well you understand his language. Now, as you get on with signs, I advise not only that you should get signs for the name of things, but also for the size, the colour, the shape, and the weight, of these same things.
I advise you to encourage your child to observe different colours, and to put things of the same colour together, such as flowers or leaves, which may be gathered in the fields. Shew him many different things that are of the same colour. Ink is black, your hat is black, a crow is black, some heads of hair are black, and so on. Paper is white, his shirt is white; the walls of the cottage are white. His lips are red, a rose is red, blood is red. Make him take notice that things are of different weights,