Page images

Maria felt very happy to hear her mother say this. She gave her some cool, refreshing drink, tied her cap for her, smoothed her pillow, and drew the curtains at the side of the bed, so that the light might not be too strong for her, and then sat down in a low chair by the bed-side. Her mother was soon in a quiet sleep. Maria then took from her belt the note her little sister had brought from school, and read it. She knew she should not attend school the next day, and with a silent petition that she might be enabled to write such a reply as would do her friend good, she folded half a sheet of paper, and, placing it on a book in her lap, wrote with a pencil the following note:

“My dear Emma,

“ Excuse my writing with a pencil. My mother is asleep, and I don't like to leave the room for pen and ink, lest she should wake.

“I have much to say in reply to your note. You need no assurance of my affection for you, Emma. You wish me to tell you why I wrote that text for you. I will endeavor to do it, frankly and fully.

“I have observed how deeply you are interested in your studies. You have long and difficult lessons, but you are always fully and thoroughly prepared. No one can charge you with a violation of a single rule of school. You are too much absorbed in your studies to meet with any temptations to transgress. Now, this eagerness for knowledge is commendable—highly so, if higher duties are not neglected;—if a desire to excel others is not the main-spring ;—if you realize, while enriching your own mind, that “You are not your own.'

“But, Emma, have you not, in your devotion to your studies, neglected higher duties? You come into the school-room, and have no more intercourse with the girls

than formal politeness requires. You seem to make it your sole object to cultivate and enrich the intellect, while the heart is neglected. You neglect to cherish and cultivate those feelings of sympathy and interest in your companions, that would lead you to make an effort to make every individual, with whom


any thing to do, happier than she would be if you were not in school. If you would do this, you would be rewarded by an increase of happiness, tenfold, in your own heart.

“ You express a good deal of contempt for the girls in your classes. If you are their superior, who made you to differ? Is intellect, the gift of God, or acquisitions which he has given opportunities to make, to puff up with pride the receiver ?

“ You will think I am too plain, perhaps severe. But I am older than you. My school-days are almost over. You will remain some time longer. What would I not give to have two years of school-days before me, with my present feelings! I long to have you improve as I wish I had done.

“ But I have something more to say. realized that you are not your own? It has seemed to me, that the claims of your heavenly Father have been forgotten, as well as those of your companions. He made

you such a being as you are. He has given you uncommon opportunities for improving your mind, and so constituted you, that you find great enjoyment in it; and to his service your all should be consecrated. He is your Sovereign ; a kind and gracious Sovereign, if you are but ready, humbly and earnestly, to know, and to do, and to be, what he requires.

“Now, Emma, I wanted you to feel that you are not your own,' and I hoped that you might be led to think seriously about it; and for that reason, I put that text in your desk. I want you to feel its influence, whenever

Have you

How thankful should we be if we possess just grounds for believing that we are saved! Even those whose consciences proclaim that they are not saved, may rejoice that they are now earnestly invited to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that they may obtain eternal salvation. We might have been justly forbidden to expect any mercy, instead of being kindly invited to pardon, peace, and everlasting happiness.

111. The season of winter, the concluding sabbath of the year, and the subject we have chosen, may lead to sorrowful reflections. This is reckoned the most gloomy part of the year; the days are short; the nights are long; clouds cover the sky; rain, snow, and hail, drop on the earth; the sun is veiled; the trees and the fields are stripped of their beauty. Nature in every part appears sad; and surely there is a sorrow of heart, and a sadness of countenance, by which the heart is made better. If we are properly acquainted with ourselves, and with the situations of others, we shall sometimes indulge a salutary sorrow; not formed of melancholy and despair, but of reflection and feeling. Young persons are apt to consider life as one unmingled scene of felicity; but let them remember, that the year has its winter; day is succeeded by night; and pleasure is often the precursor of pain. The sorrows of seriousness will only destroy deceitful enjoyments ; they will augment our real and permanent happiness.

When we reflect on the past year, can we forbear feeling some degree of sorrow? How little have we thought of God, of our souls, and of eternal realities! How much time have we lost! how many talents neglected or abused! how many mercies have we slighted! how many sins have we committed! “O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee; but unto us shame and confusion of face.” O may we feel that godly sorrow for our sins “ which worketh repentance that needeth not to be repented of.”

What great occasion for the deepest sorrow have those young persons whose consciences are saying, “ The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Not saved! Well may you be sorrowful! You must perish for ever if you are not saved. You cannot save yourselves; Time is flying rapidly; one stroke of his wings bears you over a year; eternity is surely approaching, and you are still without hopes of salvation. O slight not your danger, but fly unto Jesus Christ, who died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, and who is able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for us.

Will you still continue to neglect his great salvation ? Shall the golden moments of youth pass away while you feel no sorrow for your sins, and no love to Jesus Christ? I beseech you no longer despise his mercy. Cast yourselves at his feet; believe on him while he gives you space for repentance; then the lamentation shall not be yours,

“We are not saved;" but you shall sing, “ Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his blood, be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen." Rev. i. 5, 6.


DREAR, dark and cold, the winter comes,

With storms, and ice, and fleecy snow;
We bless the Lord for cheerful homes,

While chilling winds around us blow.


deth not

Some children have but tatter'd clothes,

And straw to lie upon by night;
No comfort cheers them to repose-

Cold, weak, and shivering to the sight.

-e those The har sared."


The travellers roaming o'er the waste,

And sailors on the mighty deep,

many sufferings do they taste,
While we, secure, in comfort sleep!

et save of his croach

slight ed on ble to

May we be grateful, Lord, to Thee,

And thoughtful, as each season rolls ;
And while we mourn, to Jesus flee

For grace to save and bless our souls.

od by



= you

While we lament the numerous sins

Which mark the year now nearly past,
Lord, teach us, when the next begins,

To spend it better than the last.

orist? your

you not be Unto n his nen."


Thou last pale relic from yon widow'd tree,

Hovering awhile in air, as if to leave

Thy native sprig reluctant, how I grieve,
And heave the sigh of kindred sympathy

That thou art fallen !—for I too whilom play'd

Upon the topmast bow of youth's gay spring ;

Have sported blithe on summer's golden wing; And now I see my fleeting autumn fade.

« PreviousContinue »