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in battle, and were left, some with their widowed mothers, and others as poor, desolate orphans, in this sorrowing world. Their rabbis or teachers told them that this would continue, and the soldiers would still guard around them, until the promised child should arise, and grow up to be a man, and lead them out to victory and freedom. Hence, these boys and girls longed for the time to come and longed for the child to be born.
Again: there were many hard questions they wanted to get answered. Many questions that puzzled the grown-up people and the rabbis, and the priests themselves. There were many things the people wanted to know, and when they could not find them out they used to say: 'Ah, when the Child comes he will tell us all things.' Many little boys and girls would ask their parents questions to which they could give no answer, except thus: "Wait patiently, and when the Child comes you will know.' Now if you had some questions you wanted very much to get answered, and if you were always told when you asked them-that some one would soon be born who would answer them all,-would not you long for that person to arise, and would not you be glad to think that he would satisfy all your demands?
Again the people were burdened with a very oppressive religion. Sometimes they were careless, and did not concern themselves about their souls; but, if any were in earnest, and wished to get to 'Abraham's bosom' (as they used to call heaven), they had to do a great many laborious things, and spend much time and give much money, in order to get their souls safe. I don't mean to say that they were pardoned and saved by doing these duties, and giving the money: no; but even the best of them, who believed in
God's promised Saviour, had to do many painful things in their religion. They had to wear a yoke which was hard to bear. It is true this yoke had not been made altogether so difficult by God; for the wicked priests and pharisees had commanded many other things to be done, and had bound burdens on them difficult to be borne. They made people with tender consciences afraid to do anything, lest they should com. mit sin. They were so strict in what they required of men, that no one could do everything they commanded. And the people understood that when the Promised One should arise, these hardships would cease, and they would have an easier religion. Hence the little girls and boys who had to be kept so strict, and under so much restraint, might well long for the time to come when they would have more liberty, and find religion to be a pleasanter thing.
Oh, there were many children, and many grown-up people too, who often felt very anxious about their souls. They knew they had been sinners, and had grieved God and broken his law; and they trembled to think of meeting their God. They would go to the temple, and pray, and look at the dying lamb, as the priest killed and burned it, and the yearly bullocks and goats too, and from the sacrifice of these they gained some comfort; and were taught to believe that a better sacrifice' would soon be offered, which should take away all sin. And they longed for that sacrifice to appear which all their frequent victims did but represent as in a picture. Their hearts were sad as they thought of their sins, and they longed for the Lamb of God to come-who should bear them all away.
And now the fullness of the time was drawing on, and the nations were waiting in watchful
expectation of some sign of His appearing. In Greece, the wisest of the sages had taught his disciples that such a person was, one day, to appear. 'To me it appears best to be patient,' said SOCRATES to Alcibiades: 'It is necessary to wait till you learn how you ought to act towards the Gods, and towards men.' 'When, O Socrates, shall that time be?' said Alcibiades, 'and who shall instruct me? For most willingly would I see this person who he is.' Thus, in Greece, were they waiting for the desire of all nations.
In Rome, the first of her poets grew into rapture as he translated into his own verses the gloomy predictions of the Hebrew prophets, which seem to have fallen into his hands.
A God! A God! ye vocal hills reply; The rocks proclaim the approaching deity. [ing skies! So earth receives him from the bend
Sink down ye mountains and ye valleys With heads declined, ye cedars, homage Be smooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods give way.
In strains somewhat like these did the heathen poet VIRGIL express the desire of his nation for the Wonderful One to be born!
In the EAST also, had the rumour gone forth, and sages were watching in eager hope of his star arising to tell them of his appearing, to guide them to his feet, that that they might worship him.
The world was now at peace; No war, or battle's sound Was heard the world around; [hung; The idle spear and shield were high up The hooked chariot stood Unstained with hostile blood; The trumpet spake not to the armed throng;
And kings sat still with awful eye, As if they surely knew their sovereign Lord was by.
spiritual conquests of the Prince of peace throughout the earth.
The world was in earnest expectation. People hung on the hope of his appearing; all things were now ready; and from many a heart did the wish find utterrance.
The nations of the earth were now by conquest brought into closer contact, and almost into one empire. One language was widely spoken, and every facility seemed ready for spreading the
Swift fly the years, and rise the expected morn!
Oh! spring to light-auspicious Babe, be born!
PROV. v. 11, 12, 13.-' And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed. And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!'
April 4.-A man who would enjoy the pleasures of this life, boldly asserted, that it was too soon for him to think of another world. He was taken ill very suddenly in the middle of the night, at an inn, The people sent for a clergyman. He came, and the dying man looking him in the face, before he could speak, said to him, 'Sir, it is too late.' The minister said, 'Christ is able to save to the uttermost,' and explained the gospel to him; he replied, 'Sir, it is too late.' The minister asked, Will you allow me to pray with you?' His only reply was, 'Sir, it is too late.' He died saying, 'It is too late!' Oh that the young may take warning from this fact, and seek for salvation before it is TOO LATE !
If memory in another state,
Recall the scenes we used to spurn; What torment to reflect too late, On seasons never to return.
These hours of praise, and hours of prayer, [given; These hours of grace, and pardon Then only darkening dark despair, Which might have led the soul to heaven!
Oh may such precious talents lent, Bring us no pain when life shall
But all in fear and faith be spent, And yield us happiness and peace.
MATT. xii. 12.-It is lawful to do well on the sabbath day.'
April 11.-A Sunday scholar in London, having occasion every Lord's day to go through a certain court, observed a shop always open for the sale of goods. Shocked at such a profanation, he considered whether it was possible for him to do anything to prevent it. He determined to leave a tract on the Lord's day as he passed the shop in the course of the week. He did so; and on the following sabbath observed that the shop was shut up. Surprised at this, he stopped, and considered whether this could be the effect of the tract he had left. He ventured to knock gently at the door; when a woman within thinking it was a customer, answered aloud, 'You cannot have anything; we don't sell on the Sunday! The little boy still begged for admittance, when the woman, recollecting his voice, said, Come in my dear little fellow; it was you that left the tract here against sabbath breaking; and it alarmed me so, that 1 did not dare to keep my shop open any longer; and I am determined never to do so again while I live'
Man is forbidden to pursue
PROV. XXVII. 1.- Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.'
April 18.-In the year 1827, there lived in the village of Eyke, Suffolk, a youth whose name was Stonard. As Christmas was drawing near, he boasted of what he would do, and in what way he would enjoy himself. 'Ah,' said one who listened to his conversation, 'you may not live till Christmas.' 'But,' he replied, I will live till Christmas !' Alas! as he was driving his master's waggon, the horses took fright and ran off, and
poor Stonard in attempting to stop them, was knocked down and killed on the spot Christmas came, but the mortal part of Stonard was in the coffin-his soul in an eternal world!
The present time, and that alone, Is all that we can call our own; Nor can the art of man ensure Another year, another hour.
ACTS xix. 31. The theatre.'
April 25.-A venerable and holy man, when speaking of theatrical amusements to the Rev. J. A. James, said, 'Sir, the theatre had nearly brought me to the gallows. There I found associates who introduced me to every crime. When likely to be prevented by want of money from going to meet them at the theatre, I robbed my father to gain a shilling, for admission to the gallery.'
Enticing pleasures, now, adieu,
THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND
To me, O Lord, be thou the Way,
To me be thou the Truth; To me, my Saviour, be the Life, The guardian of my youth.
So shall that Way be my delight,
That Truth shall make me free, That Life shall raise me from the dead, And then I'll live to thee.
LITTLE SINS. Our evil actions spring
From small and hidden seeds; At first, we think some wicked thing, Then practice wicked deeds.
Oh for a holy fear
Of every evil way, That we may never venture near The path that leads astray! Wherever it begins,
It ends in death and wo; And he who suffers little sins,
A sinner's doom shall know.
Printed and published by JOSEPH GILLETT, of No. 3, Clarence Street, Chorlton-uponMedlock, in the parish of Manchester, at the Office of GILLETT and MOORE, No 2, Brown Street, Manchester, in the County of Lancaster-APRIL. 1st, 1847.
suitable education, have been placed in situations in which they have, by industry and good conduct, obtained a comfortable livelihood, and some of them have risen to influential stations in society, and become governors of the charity; and, although it was instituted for twenty boys only, it clothes, educates, and wholly maintains, at the present time, fifty-four girls and eighty-five boys, making a total of one hundred and thirty-nine. The new building is intended for two hundred and forty, and this number the committee are anxious to receive.
We earnestly commend the institution to the blessing of heaven, and to the care of the Redeemer's church. In it, for all ages, may 'the fatherless find mercy.'
CONVERSATIONS ON BRITISH CHURCH HISTORY.-No. XIV. BY THE REV. J. K. FOSTER. Revival of Religion in the last Century. HE good minister at Chester, who resided near the Cathedral, depicted in the initial letter,whom we have already introduced to our readers, was requested by his affectionate class, to instruct them in the rise and progress of Methodism, as it is called, in the last century The class had refreshed their memories by asking each other questions, respecting the dark and dull state of religion, previous to the days of Wesley, Whitfield and their pious fellow-labourers.
'I am happy,' began their teacher and friend, 'I am happy, my dear boys, that we have a more pleasant subject now than we had for our last conversation: we had then to notice the sad declension and dulness in the religion of the nation,-if that can be called religion which is dull and lifeless; we had then to
remark, that even the truly pious were too inactive to disturb the worldly and to startle the infidel. Methodism, however, was a comet, which moved out of the course of mere formality and cold reasoning. Men gazed at it and wondered.'
'Will you please, sir, to tell us what we are to understand by Methodism ?' several of the class asked at the same time. You may well, my boys, desire to have this term explained; for it is one of singular origin and application. Like many of our names, it unhappily conveys no instructive idea. The first Methodists were physicians of antiquity, who reduced the medical art to a few common principles. Some zealous persecutors of the Huguenots or Protestants in France, in the seventeenth century, also bore that name. When, therefore, the little band of young men at Oxford became distinguished for their pious and methodical conduct, and for earnestness in religion, a student at Christ's College exclaimed, "Here is a new set of Methodists sprung up!" 'I do not,' said John, see any likeness
of the new to the old set of Methodists.' The master resumed, the resemblance is not striking, and the name is not a good one; but you may fancy, that the modern Methodists seek the cure of the soul, as the ancients did. that of the body; and God enabled them to do wonders in this way, by the use of a very few principles. Repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, have been with the Methodists, as they were with the apostie Paul, the great and constant subjects of their preaching. They are always trying to do what I so often attempt to urge upon you, my dear boys, to remember that you are SINNERS, and that Jesus Christ is a SAVIOUR.'
Robert expressed his perplexity at hearing almost every good man,