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Crush'd are the tendrils of the vine

Which ripen'd once 'neath cloudless skies; Now o'er the hills of Palestine

Each scatter'd branch neglected lies :
To their lost loveliness once more
Those long-forsaken boughs restore.
Go to each far, each distant isle

That glitters o'er the wide expanse,
And let them bask beneath the smile

Of God's approving countenance ;
Till sounds from earth, and air, and sea,
The note of joyous harmony.

If she remain single, her virtues will ensure her many friends; if she marry, her husband's esteem and preference will increase with age, and when she “rests from her labours, her works shall follow her."

The Church. For the sake of the Church and the world, not less than for our own sakes, let us give diligence to clear up our interest in the Gospel, that “the joy of the Lord may be our strength" in bis service. The want of personal assurance not only brings a loss in our own experience, but a hinderance to usefulness within our appointed sphere. Hence our efforts are often powerless in parrying off the attack of “ bim that reproaches us ;' and our attempts to “strengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees" of our brethren, unavailing. At some times, the dread of the charge of hypocrisy-at other times, the absence of the only “ constraining” principle, " the love of Christ" stops the utterance of the "word of truth,” damps our privilege, and obscures our character as a witness of our God and Saviour. Justly, indeed, might he punish our unfaithfulness in the neglect of this spiritual weapon, by forbidding us to speak any more in his name ; and therefore, in deprecating this grievous judgment, the child of God, conscious of guilt, will cast himself at the footstool of mercy, “ Take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth." Not only, take it not out of my heart, but let it be ready in my mouth for a confession of my Master.- Bridges on the 119th Psalm.

HONOUR God's MINISTERS.-Take heed of that; for then God is dishonoured, when any thing is the more despised by how much it relates nearer unto God. No religion ever did despise their chiefest ministers ; and the Christian religion gives them the greatest honour. For honourable priesthood is like a shower from heaven, it causes blessings every where; but a pitiful, a disheartened, a discouraged clergy waters the ground like a waterpot-here and there a little good, and for a little while ; but every evil man can destroy all that work whenever be pleases. Take heed; in the world there is not a greater misery can happen to any man than to be an enemy to God's Church. All histories of Christendom, and the whole book of God, have sad records, and sad threatenings, and sad stories of Korah, and Doeg, and Balaam, and Jeroboam, and Uzzah, and Ananias, and Sapphira, and Julian, and of heretics and schismatics, and sacrilegious ; and after all, there men could not prevail finally, but paid for the mischief they did, and ended their days in dishonour, and left nothing behind them but the memory of their sin, and the record of their curse.-Bp. Taylor.

Go! where the glorious sun doth shine

On fairer climes from brighter skies,
And tell them of the name divine,

And let their glad hosannahs rise,
Fann'd by the breath of hope and love,
Accepted in the realms above.
Go! stay not, till each fragrant breeze

That whispers through the vale at even Bear the rejoicing melodies

Of ceaseless gratitude to heaven; Go! stay not, till th' immortal Dove Wave o'er the world its plumes of love.

“ BE STRONG IN THE LORD."

BY MISS EMRA.

Poetry.
LAYS OF PALESTINE.-No. V.

BY T. G, NICHOLAS.

(For the Church of England Magazine.) " How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that

bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that saith unto

Zion, Thy God reigneth !"--Isaiah, lii. 7. “Go ye, and teach all nations."- Mall. xxviii. 19.

Go! wheresoe'er the light of heaven

Beams on this darken'd world beneath,
And tell of sin and guilt forgiven,

Of ransom from eternal death,
And bid life's gushing waters bless
The shades of this dark wilderness.
How beautiful, on Judah's mountains,

To raise, untired, the Gospel-song!
How beautiful, at Siloa's fountains,

The note of gladness to prolong!
Till earth-born care and conflict cease
Before the messengers of peace.

(For the Church of England Magazine.) “Be strong in the Lord, and the power of his might,” He leads through the desert, still guiding aright; Complain not though weeds o'er thy wilderness spread, And dark may the cloud be that hangs o'er thy head. Remember the word to the faithful of old “ I will help, I will strengthen, yea, I will uphold; The right arm of my righteousness, that is thy stay, My love is thy pole-star by night and by day. I chose thee before earth's foundations were laid; An infant, a sufferer, for thee I was made; I hung on a cross, and I lay in a grave, The souls of my chosen to bless and to save. Unfailing my promise, eternal my love, And firm is the throne that awaits thee above; I am ready to give thee a welcome, and thou, My trembler, what sayest thou ? answer me now," 0, what is the answer? I lie at thy feet; I cling to thy promise, thy words I repeat; Convinced of my sin, self-accused, self-abhorr'd, Yet never despairing, for thou art my Lord. The Lord will conduct by a way yet unknown, And seat me at last by his side on his throne; The Lord hath redeem'd, and he never will lose The soul that he died thus to pardon and choose. Safe, safe to eternity, waiting awhile, Upheld by thy power, and refresh'd by thy smile; Each moment the nearer to home in the skies, Each moment the louder let praises arise.

THE CATECHISM.*

THAT call not education, which decries
God and his truth, content the seed to strew
Of moral maxims, and the mind imbue
With elements which form the worldly wise.
So call the training, which can duly prize

Such lighter lore, but chiefly holds to view
What God requires us to believe and do,
And notes man's end, and shapes him for the skies.
This praise be thine, that by the truth set free

Thou still hast trod the right way and the best, City of God, my mother! yea, of thee

"Excellent things are said;" nor this the least, That thou thy children giv'st the path to see

Of life, and lead'st them by their God's behest.

Miscellaneous.

VILLAGE-CHURCHES IN ENGLAND.- Blessings on those old gray fabrics that stand on many a hill, and in many a lowly hollow, all over this beloved country; for, as much as we would reprobate that system of private or political patronage by which unqualified, unholy, and unchristian men have been sometimes thrust into their ancient pulpits, I am of Sir Walter Scott's opinion, that no places are so congenial to the holy simplicity of Christian worship as they are. They have an air of antiquity about them, a shaded sanctity, and stand so venerably amid the most English scenes, and the tombs of generations of the dead, that we cannot enter them without having our imaginations and our hearts powerfully impressed with every feeling and thought that can make us love our country, and yet feel that this is not our abiding-place. Those antique churches, those low, massy doors, were raised in days that are long gone by; around those walls, nay beneath our very feet, sleep those who, in their generations, helped, each in his little sphere, to build up our country to her present pitch of greatness. We catch a glimpse of that deep veneration, of that unambitious simplicity of mind and manner, that we would fain hold fast amidst our growing knowledge, and its inevitable remodelling of the whole framework of society. We are made to feel earnestly the desire to pluck the spirit of faith, the integrity of character, and the whole heart of love to kin and country, out of the ignorance and blind subjection of the past. Therefore it is that I have always loved the village-church; that I have delighted to stroll far through the summer-fields, and hear still onward its bells ringing happily; to enter and sit down among its rustic congregation, better pleased with their murmur of responses, and their artless but earnest chant, than with all the splendour and parade of more lofty fabrics.-W. Howitt.

WILLIAM COLLINS.-My last interview was on the 30th day of September, 1815, when, accompanied by Mrs. Bowles, the Rev. Mr. Skinner, and the Bishop of the diocese (Bath and Wells), I again visited the abode of this sole survivor of a whole buried generation of the parish (Uphil in Somersetshire). He was seated near the window, by a small fire, and seemed more collected than when I last saw him, though now turned of ninety years. He instantly remembered me, and pressed my hand, which he held in his for some time, with tears in his eyes. His voice was clear and distinct. His daughter was with him. The inside of the cottage was very neat, and on the table, amongst a few other books, an old Bible was conspicuous, near which stood, most appropriately, an hour-glass.

I

From Bishop Mant's "Musings on the Church and her Services."

made some religious reflections on the silent sands of life slowly passing away, and on the book which, when these sands are all shed, sets before us the "sure and certain hope of eternal life;" and I never shall forget the words and actions of my most bene vole ut friend bishop, who appeared deeply interested in the scene. "My good old man," he said, with a gentle smile, "in the present days, I fear a bishop's blessing may not be thought so valuable as it has been in ages past; but," placing his hand on the old man's head, he added, in a manner and voice most affecting, "such as it is, it is given most warmly." Piously and placidly, this humble and ancient servant of Christ now waits the end of his long and weary journey upon earth, an "exile hastening to be loosed," in "the full assurance" of "faith" and "hope." Baptised and brought up in the bosom of the Church, from which, in his maturity and in old age, he never departed, we trust that at his last hour, when that awful hour approaches, and his last sand is shed, with his trembling hand clasping the Bible to his heart, through repentance and grace, he may be enabled to lift up his eyes to heaven, and faintly utter, "O death, where is thy sting? grave, where is thy victory?" We looked on his countenance some time in silence, and then departed with a blessing and a prayer. We left his solitary abode not without boding feelings, as, in all human probability, we should see his face no more.-Rev. W. Bowles.

O

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THE SUNDAY-SCHOLAR." One day," said Mr. Robert Raikes, of Gloucester, the institutor of Sundayschools, "as I was going to church, I overtook a soldier just entering the church-door; this was on a week-day. As I passed him, I said it gave me great pleasure to see that he was going to a place of divine worship. Ah, sir,' said he, I may thank you for that.' Me?' said I; 'why I do not know that I ever saw you before.' 'Sir,' said he, when I was a little boy, I was indebted to you for my first instruction in my duty. I used to meet you, at the morning service, in this cathedral; and was one of your Sunday-scholars. My father, when he left this city, took me into Berkshire; and put me apprentice to a shoemaker. I often used to think of you. At length I went to London: and was there drawn to serve as a militiaman, in the Westminster militia. I came to Gloucester last night, with a deserter: and I took the opportunity of coming this morning to visit the old spot; and in the hope of once more seeing you.' He then told me his name; and brought himself to my recollection by a curious circumstance, which happened whilst he was at school. His father was a journeyman currier; a most vile, profligate man. After the boy had been some time at school, he came one day and told me that his father was wonderfully changed; and that he had left off going to the alehouse on Sunday. It hap pened soon after, that I met the man in the street, and said to him, My friend, it gives me great pleasure to hear that you have left off going to the alehouse on Sunday; your boy tells me that you now stay at home, and never get tipsy.' Sir,' said he, I may thank you for it.' Nay,' said 1, that is impossible; I do not recollect that I ever spoke to you before.' 'No, sir,' said he; but the good instruction you give my boy, he brings home to me; and it is that, sir, which has induced me to reform my life.'"-Penny Sunday Reader.

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London: Published by JAMES BURNS, 17 Portman Street, Portman Square; W. EDWARDS, 12 Ave-Maria Lane, St. Paul's; and to be procured, by order, of all Booksellers in Town and Country. * } } 2* 1972

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PRINTED BY ROBSON, LEVEY, AND FRANKLYN, 46 ST. MARTIN'S LANE.

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VOL. VII. No. 201.

"HER FOUNDATIONS ARE UPON THE HOLY HILLS."

DECEMBER 31, 1839.

THE VALUE OF PRESENT MERCIES.

II.

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We need not penetrate the wilds of countries hitherto unvisited by civilisation, to ascertain the state of man without revelation. For history has recorded the existence of empires where refinement and luxury attained to a degree not to be surpassed, the seat of arts and science, where are found the relics of elegance and taste, which we in vain emulate. But did these attainments teach men the knowledge of the true God? did they put a constraint upon their actions, or teach them to subdue the motions of the flesh? No. And so to the Christian, the contemplation of the unmatched advancement in all that the world calls beautiful and grand, made by a people at so early a period, and while all things around them were enveloped in barbarianism, affords him an illustration of the insufficiency of earthly wisdom; for whatever progress may be made by man in a state of nature, however his intellect may expand and unfold before him the wonders of creation around and above him, yet his reason only, and not his heart, is affected by the advance he makes. Knowledge of the head can never purify that fountain from whence "proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemies, pride, foolishness" (Mark vii. 21, 22.)

OF THE UNITED

But after contemplating the state of man even at the height of his intellectual attainments, after seeing that "the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty," surely the Christian must feel a lively grati

VOL. VII.-NO. CCI.

CHURCH OF ENGLAND

AND IRELAND.

PRICE 1d.

tude to Him who alone has made him to differ, who hath graciously "sent out his light and his truth" to guide his footsteps, and "hath called him out of darkness into his marvellous light" (1 Pet. ii. 9.)

The state of man is now, living as he may even in countries where the light of the Gospel shines, one of darkness, until he be regenerate and born again by the Holy Spirit; and his condition is equally lamentable and miserable with those who lived before the Christian dispensation, or who have never heard of the glad tidings of the Gospel. Even God himself, his ways, and his providence, are dark and mysterious; and in this condition, miserable indeed, he pursues his voyage on this ocean of life; but how still more miserable his state, should a storm surprise him, and add to the gloominess and blackness of midnight? Shipwreck is dreadful at all times, but how extremely awful when it arrives "when neither sun nor stars are to be seen!" What terror must at such a season fill the minds of the most intrepid, when "tossed with a tempest," and "carried" at one time " up to the heaven, and then down again to the deep," and in fear every moment "lest they should fall into the quicksands!" Such is but a faint sketch of man's condition without the light of revelation; to describe the horrors of such a state, the fears and doubts which must occupy the mind, the troubles of life without the support of the Gospel, would be indeed impossible: enough, however, has been said, in order that the contrast we may draw between the condition of others and our own, may lead us to prize more and more our mercies and privileges, and so possess an increasing gratitude for the

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[London: Robson, Levey, and Franklyn, 46 St. Martin's Lane.]

" light and truth" which God has “sent out" | will raise his drooping desires and affections ; among us. Here we may trace a resemblance and they will generate, fructify, and mature in our own case to that of the children of all that is good and lovely, to the praise and Israel. For, as they were led by a pillar of glory of God. Clouds, however, are often a cloud, so also have we a guide which will visible on the clearest days ; and so the path conduct us safely through the perils of life ; of the Christian may often be shadowed by a guide which shall never fail us, for no endea- adversity; but then, mark the difference bevour of man, no scheme, however ingenious, tween the clouds seen when the sun is in the shall be able to extinguish this candle which firmament, and those which float at midnight. the Lord God himself hath lighted ; storms It has been remarked, that the heaviest and may arise, and many a tempestuous blast may blackest clouds are often gilded ; and so the assail it, but we have God's own word that dispensations of Providence, however they may heaven and earth shall pass away, but that darken the scene around, are sent to accomhis word shall not pass away (Matt. xxiv. 35). | plish a purpose of love ; and as in nature the It shall continue to guide, to cheer, and to *clouds drop fatness, and cause the dwellings bring "every believer to God's dwelling." of the wilderness and the hills to rejoice ;" so And as in the case of the Israelites, the afflictions are sent " for our profit," and will, pillar was by day a cloud, and by night a if sanctified, produce the end designed ; for

to give them light;" so in the passage tribulation worketh patience, and patience of the Christian, the Bible will be found experience, and experience hope (Rom. v. adapted to all his wants, qualified to meet 3, 4). The trial of faith worketh patience difficulties and emergencies, and calculated (James i. 3); and we find this accomplished for every situation and circumstance. This in the afflictions endured by the Hebrews pillar precedes us, and therefore, however and by the Thessalonians (Heb. x. 32-34, rough or circuitous the road, it must en- 2 Thess. i. 4). It is useless, however, to lighten the track behind, which we, as Chris- inform persons that are blind, of the glories tians, profess to follow. Should we, how- of the sun, and of the cheerful effects he proever, mark out a path for ourselves, and duces, for they are ignorant of " that thing deviate from the straight and narrow way, we called light;" and therefore, should we lead shall assuredly meet with difficulties, dangers, them, even at noon-day, over a road thickly and darkness. We have an instance of this strewed with precious stones, they could gain in Num. xiv., when the Israelites " presumed no advantage, for they would pass over and to go up unto the hill-top to fight against trample thein under their feet. This is our the Amalekites, when neither the ark of the situation in regard to the Bible ; by nature we covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed out are blind, and are little conscious of the rich of the camp :" the consequences of this act treasure, far more valuable “ than thousands of disobedience terminated even as Moses of gold and silver,” that lies within our reach. had predicted. That incident was doubtless Our constant prayer must therefore be, "Open recorded for our admonition, that we may thou mine eyes, that I may see the wondrous take warning from their conduct, not to un- things of thy law” (Ps. cxix. 18); and when dertake any scheme without being assured of this is effected by the Holy Spirit, and not possessing the sanction and presence of God; till then, shall we be able to see one truth, for should we "presume" to act, trusting to however dazzling, or to receive one promise, our own strength or good resolutions, the however consolatory. The Bible is to the event will make us sensible of the folly of carnal mind a sealed book, and Christ and our conduct by its sad and certain failure. the preaching of the cross foolishness.

The Bible is not only "a light" to guide, But this "light," although it is held out but it is also a source of consolation. Every to all, will be found to be a guide to those one knows the effect on creation which is pro- only who can dismiss every other instructor, duced by the first indication of approaching and place their implicit trust on this blessed day; every thing seems to awake into fresh book. And so we find that the testimony of life and vigour, and the whole scene wears the Lord giveth wisdom unto the simple an aspect of cheerfulness and joy. And so (Ps. xix. 7). And it is to persons of the it must be with all who read and believe the same character to whom God's word giveth Scriptures; the sad and dreary season of na- " light and understanding" (Ps. cxix, 130). ture's darkness rolls gradually away, and the The blessed assurances that God will “ set higher the altitude which the Sun of Righte- up," "help,” “guide in judgment and teach ousness gains in the mind of the Christian, the his way,” are given to “the meek," and to greater will be the effect of his beams on his

“such as are gentle” (Ps. cxlvii. 6, cxlix. 4, heart; they will enlighten and cheer his path ; xxv. 8). It is to the godly that there "ariseth they will disperse the mists of doubt and fear up light in darkness” (Ps. cxii. 4). From which have gathered about his soul; they such passages we may clearly perceive the

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darkness, therefore let us not sleep, but let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breast-plate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation" (1 Thess. v.).

state of mind we must possess, if we would benefit by God's promises here, or be partakers of his happiness hereafter: we must "become as little children" (Matt. xviii. 3), and follow the "light" which God has given us, without doubts and misgivings. Satan, however, who is ever busy, may endeavour to persuade us that such a light is unnecessary, and that we need nothing. "They that are well," says our Saviour, "need not a physician, but they that are sick." And who can read the history of man without at once discovering that there is not one who is not sick, even unto death? and therefore, their malady, however secretly it may work, must inevitably prove fatal. But, blessed truth, there is a Physician who is willing to save, to the uttermost, all that come unto God by him; and happy are they who feel their need and wretchedness, and who come and humbly implore assistance and recovery at the hands of God, through Christ Jesus. Let those who do not take the Bible as their rule of faith and conduct, who do not obey its commands, listen to its precepts, or take warning from its threatenings, consider seriously their condition,-let them embrace present opportunities, and at once accept the invitation, "Come ye, and walk in the light of the Lord" THOUGHTS ON HISTORICAL PASSAGES OF (Is. ii. 5); forsake the works of darkness, and abandon for ever the fire and "the sparks which ye have kindled, and by which ye walk" (Is. 1. 11); for the night will soon come, and then the door of mercy will be for ever closed. "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation" (John ix. 4, Matt. xxv. 10, 2 Cor. 6, 2).

We must "watch and pray," that our religion may not merely consist in profession without practice, or in knowledge without power. And how careful should we be, that our deeds and conversation be not of the nature of darkness; for as the defects of any object, which probably would remain unseen in the dark, are rendered visible by the introduction of light, so our imperfections are more conspicuous to men, and more hateful to God, in proportion to the profession we make of walking in the light. We must test not our actions only, but also our secret thoughts by the standard of God's word. Then, by following this pillar, illumined by the Holy Spirit, we shall at last be rendered meet for the inheritance of the saints in light, through the merits of our Saviour. "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev. xxii. 14). S. S.

It is indeed an awful thing to neglect the use of the means whereby we may become wise unto salvation; but let us remember that there is an equal responsibility attached to those who are acquainted with the truths contained in the Scriptures; for then they are conscious of what is required of them, and therefore they are without excuse, if they do not frame their actions by the precepts of God's word. "To whom much is given, of him will much be required;"" the true light now shineth ;" and this consideration will lead us to see the irresistible obligation which rests upon us to lead a holy life, and to amend our ways and our doings. "The day," says St. Paul, is at hand, let us therefore cast off the works of darkness" (Rom. xiii. 12). "Old things are past away, all things must now become new" (2 Cor. v. 17). "Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children of light" (Eph. 8). "Put on the armour of light," and "walk as in the day" (Rom. xiii. 12-13.) "Ye are children of the light, and the children of the day we are not of the night, nor of

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V.

THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT. No. XIII.-The Character and Conversion of Lydia.* BY THE REV. JOHN EMRA, M.A. Perpetual Curate of St. Mary's, Redlynch, Somerset. IN the 19th chapter of the first book of Kings we have a very remarkable account of a manifestation of the divine glory to the prophet Elijah: "The word of the Lord came to him and said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice." Thus did the Lord manifest himself to his prophet, not addressing him during the roaring of the wind, the fury of the fire, and the awful sound of the earthquake, but speaking to him in "a still small voice," after these his terrific messengers, these "ministers of his which do his pleasure," had passed away. Now, this narrative affords a striking illustration of the Lord's various modes of dealing in the conversion of sinners. "God speaketh once, yea twice," but man "too often regardeth him not." There are two striking accounts related in the 16th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, in which are very forcibly delineated these various modes of the operation of divine grace on the heart.

Behold the two scenes here described contrasted together. Here we have an account of the conversion of two immortal souls. But how different were the

instrumental causes, and the accompanying events of their conversion, although the same Holy Spirit was the agent in the conversion of both! In the case of the jailor, "the Lord was in the earthquake." The

• See Acts of the Apostles, xvi. 13-15; and compare the narrative with that of the conversion of the jailor, ver. 23, &c.

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