Imágenes de página

And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy fervant. But he said, As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it: but he refused. * * * So he departed from him a little way.

But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought; but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.

So Gehazi followed after Naaman: and when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the cha rot to meet him, and said, Is all well? And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to ine from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets : give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.

And Naaman said, Be content; take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him. And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house; and he let the men go, and they depart ed. But he went in and stood before his master.

And Elisha said unto him. Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. And he said unto him, Went not my heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and men-servants, and mai servants? The leprosy, therefore, of Naaman shall cleave unto thee. *** And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.


Claims of the Jews.-NOEL.

In very truth, there are claims, which the Jew can urge, in which the Gentile cannot share. In advocating the cause

of Israel, I would ask, and strongly too, Is the account of justice towards that nation settled? Is the long arrear of Gentile gratitude to that nation discharged? For to what blessing shall we refer, in the long catalogue of our own mercies, which we have not derived from Israel?

Amidst the sorrows and vicissitudes of life, do we find daily consolations from God? Under the terrors of con science, do we behold a peaceful asylum in the Gospel of Christ? By the bed of dying worth, or at the oft-frequented grave of departed friendship, do we wipe away our tears in the prospect of a sure and certain hope of a resurrection to the life eternal ?

From whence do all these consolations flow? They flow to us from Judah. The Volume of God was penned by Jewish hands; the Gospel was proclaimed by Jewish lips; yea, that Sacred Victim on the cross, the world's only hope, the sinner's only joy,-wears not even he the lin'ĕaments of the children of Abraham? And, without the blush of self-abasement, can we speculate any longer on our indifference to the Jewish cause, and coldly complain, that we feel not here that energy of sympathy, which we can feel on other appeals to our compassion?

* * *

Christians! at length remove the stigma; repay the debt; redeem the time; admit the claims of justice; yield to the impulse of gratitude; feel, toil, supplicate for those, whose forefathers felt, and toiled, and prayed for you!

Think, I pray you, of all their former grandeur, and contrast it with their present desolation. Such a contrast raises, even under ordinary circumstances, a keen emotion in the human heart. No sympathy is so strong as that, which is drawn forth by fallen greatness. The extent of the ruin is the very measure of that emotion. Why does the traveller fondly linger amidst the scenes of ancient art, or power, or influence? Why, for so many a year, has the poet and the philosopher wandered amidst the fragments of Athens or of Rome? why paused, with strange and kindling feelings, amidst their broken columns, their mouldering temples, their deserted plains? It is because their day of glory is passed it is because their name is obscured, their power is departed, their influence is lost! The gloomy contrast casts a shade over the renown and the destiny of man.

Similar emotions have, indeed, been often felt amidst the scenes of Jewish fame. The forsaken banks of Jordan, where the Psalmist once might tune his lyre, and utter his


prophetic songs; the blighted plains of Galilee, where the Saviour might often bend his lonely steps to cheer the widow's dwelling; the ruined city, once the terror of surrounding nations; the forgotten temple, whose walls once echoed back the accents of that voice," which spake as never man spake;"-these images and memorials of former days have often produced a solemn sadness in the minds of those, who have visited the shores of Palestine; and these feelings have responded to the affecting complaint, "Thy holy cities are a wilderness, Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem is a desolation. Our holy and our beautiful house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire, and all our pleasant things are laid waste."

But is there no emphasis of sadness to be found in the sordid and degraded state of those, who wander through the world forgotten and forlorn, though once the honoured servants, the favoured children, of the Lord?

Shall the sculptured stone, the broken shaft, the timeworn capital, even the poor fragments of some profane sanctuary-shall these affect so deeply the heart? and shall the moral ruin, the spiritual decay, the symptoms of eternal perdition-shall these vestiges of desolation excite no feeling in our bosoms? And where is a ruin to be found so mournful, and so complete, as that which the moral aspect of Judah now presents to our view?


The Influence of Devotional Habits and Feelings, happy at all Times.-WELLBELOVED.

IN every age, and in every condition of life, the influence of devotion is highly needful and important. The adoration of the great Source of all enjoyment, by whose providence all exist, and from whose goodness all derive the comfort of their existence, is an employment worthy of the human faculties, reasonable in itself, and productive of the most excellent dispositions.

In the day of prosperity, what more natural or becoming, than the language of praise at the throne of God? -in the hour of adversity, what more suitable or consoling, than the expression of confidence in the divine government, and the

[ocr errors]

wish that devotion breathes, "Father, not my will, but thine, be done?" in the whole conduct of life, in all the events of this ever-varying scene, what more likely to keep the mind in a calm and tranquil state, or to render the present moral discipline efficacious in preparing us for future eminence and glory, than the habit of devout intercourse with the great Father of our spirits?

A practice so excellent in maturer life, is recommended to youth by reasons peculiarly forcible. Piety, a crown of glory to the hoary head, is an ornament of peculiar beauty upon that which has not seen many years. It is the lan guage of the most absurd and fatal folly, that religion and its duties are not suited to the innocent gayety of youth; that devotion belongs to those only, who have passed that period; and that it will be sufficient to think of preparing for a future state, when we begin to lose our relish for the present.

Such sentiments as these are not, I hope, adopted by any of those young persons, to whom I address myself. The reverse are such as they ought to maintain; such as, alone, are worthy of a rational mind. Is it reasonable, my young friends, that, living as you do upon the bounty of Providence, you should feel no gratitude, nor express any thankfulness for its bounties? that, dependant as you are upon God for life, and health, and all things, you should live without any regard for your unceasing Benefactor, and think your selves improperly employed when celebrating his praise?

Are the blessings you receive undeserving of your thanks? Are you insensible of the value of kind relations, judicious friends, and wise instructers; of bodily strength and activity; of cheerfulness of mind; of all the numberless means, by which life is not only supported, but rendered happy? Is it possible that you should not see and feel the ingratitude of employing your best days, and your most vigorous pow. ers, without one thought of God; and of contenting your selves with the resolution of devoting to his service the imbecility of old age?

With so many monuments of death around you; with so many awful warnings of the uncertainty of life, even at your period of it; is it not the height of presumption and folly, to defer the formation of a religious and devotional temper to a period, which, it is probable, or at least possible, may never arrive?

Have you seen so little of life, as not to know, that the

feeling and conduct of maturer years, and of old age, are almost invariably marked by the character which distinguished the youth; that the man, who neglected God and religious duties when young, becomes more averse from them as he advances in life, and leaves the world with the same irreligious temper with which he entered upon it; unimproved by the events that have happened to him, bearing no similitude to God, without the favour of his friendship, and unprepared for the joys of his presence? Or, is this the envied character you desire to form? is this the happy end to which you aspire? is such the life you wish to lead? or such the death you hope to die?

My young friends, let not any evil suggestions enslave you, and prevent you from pursuing that conduct, which reason and Scripture pronounce to be honourable and safe. If it be an awful thing to die without hope of future happiness, it is an awful thing to live every moment liable to death, without those dispositions, which, by the wise appointment of Almighty God, are necessary to obtain the blessedness of the world to come.


The Seasons.-MRS. BARBAULD.

WHO may she be, this beauteous, smiling maid,
In light-green robe with careless ease arrayed?
Her head is with a flowery garland crowned,
And where she treads, fresh flowerets spring around.
Her genial breath dissolves the gathered snow;
Loosed from their icy chains the rivers flow;
At sight of her the lambkins bound along,
And each glad warbler trills his sweetest song;
Their mates they choose, their breasts with love are filled,
And all prepare their mossy nests to build.
Ye youths and maidens, if ye know, declare
The name and lineage of this smiling fair.

Who from the south is this, with lingering tread
Advancing, in transparent garments clad?
Her breath is hot and sultry: now she loves
To seek the inmost shelter of the groves;
The crystal brooks she seeks, and limpid streams,
To quench the heat that preys upon her limbs.

« AnteriorContinuar »