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walls will never grow into fresh elegance and strength. It is beautiful to observe how nature sometimes comes in to the assistance of her younger sister, generously throwing a green mantle over the deformity which she can neither prevent
This subject is calculated to fill our minds with sober and salutary reflections, and to train us to habitual thoughtfulness. The objects of which it treats not unfrequently, interest the affections and touch the finest chords of humanity. They bring to our remembrance the gone-by times-they lead us to consider our own mortality, and urge us on to the attainment of a treasure in that world where there is no crumbling ruin to be seen, and where the redeemed shall receive a crown that cannot fade.
Let the work of Time be made conducive to our present improvement.
Here is a striking illustration of the wonderful effects of perseverance. The effects of Time are as visible in the long and gradual progress from a seed to a full-grown tree, as from the full-grown tree to the hollow and ruined trunk. Year after year it is acquiring additional vigor, and putting forth new wood. It spreads out its branches further and further, and thickens its foliage more and more, till its beauty becomes mature, its shade luxuriant, and its fruit abundant. And then we remember the pliant twig which we could have bent in our fingers, and wonder that such mighty enlargement and improvement has occurred, although we could scarcely perceive in each successive day the progress which had been made. To the circumstance, that the plant made every day some progress, we must look for the cause of its present maturity. And so it should be with those who seek for religious or intellectual improvement. A day should never be suffered to pass without our acquiring some portion, however small, of useful information, or seeking to add strength to some good principle. We need not despair, because we have little leisure. That little, if improved with regularity and perseverance, will by-and-bye be found to have done wonders in our favor. Let never forget what is said of him who "despiseth little things." It was an injunction of acknowledged authority→→→
"Grow in grace." Whatever difficulties may meet us, we need not be dismayed, our success will be more certain if we proceed by regular, though tardy steps, than it would be, if with. greater advantages our efforts were less uniform or steady. A continual dropping wears away stone.
We see that all earthly productions will inevitably be overtaken by the ravages of time. Neither the objects which delight us, and smooth our passage through life, nor we ourselves, are exempt. Human bodies, however we may attempt to trick them out in the decorations of vanity, or to maintain their apparent bloom by the artifices of fashion, cannot successfully withstand the attacks of Time. The most vigorous frame, though it were never assailed by disease, nor shaken by accident, would at last dismiss its spiritual inhabitant, as the corn sheds its fully ripe seed. Since the outworks of our fortification must at last be surrendered, it is worth while to inquire if there be not some place of security in which we may rest with confidence, and which will repay us better for storing it with provisions, and enriching it with treasures. The mind is this imperishable citadel-Thither let us retreat.
"Minds are of celestial birth."
Amidst the tempests of adversity, and the attacks of age, a mind well stored and well regulated, and supported by the hope of the gospel, is secure. Intelligence and piety will form a halo of glory for the wrinkled brow; and when the "palace of the soul" shall have mouldered, they will remain to beautify a glorious body-endued with larger and more refined capacities, which shall never be worn out or wearied. WILTON.
ON LOVE TO CHRIST.
The wondering world enquires to know,
Why I should love my Jesus so :
"What are his charms," say they, "above
Ir is deeply to be regretted that the above lines so correctly exhibit the sentiments and feelings of, by far, the greatest portion of mankind. That while the christian beholds such loveliness and beauty shining in his Saviour, as to call forth
his most ardent affections, and most willing obedience, there are so many whose hearts are untouched by it, and who see in him "no form nor comeliness, nor any beauty that they should desire him." Knowing the dreadful curses that are pronounced in the inspired volume, against those who love not our Lord Jesus Christ," my present design is, to show my youthful readers what claims he has on their affections, trusting that it will be the means of alluring some to admire his beauties, and love him with their whole hearts.
1. In his own person and character, he combines every thing that is lovely. Behold him as the Son of God, clothed with transcendant majesty and power, and sustaining the various offices which he holds in relation to his church, and how unspeakably lovely does he appear! Could you ask the multitude of the redeemed before the throne,-the apostles who followed his footsteps on earth,-the " noble army of martyrs," who were "slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held," the "spirits of the just made perfect," redeemed from among men," the ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands," that stand in his presence continually, they would with one united voice reply, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." Such loveliness do these pure and exalted spirits behold in him, while gazing upon his resplendent glories, as the co-equal, co-eternal Son of God, exalted at his Father's right hand, that their eyes never tire with looking, their tongues never grow weary of singing to his praise. But all their immortal powers are exerted to glorify him, all on the stretch "To raise new honors to his name, And songs before unknown."
Behold him as the Saviour of men. Follow him from his birth to his death-from the manger to the cross-from Bethlehem to Calvary, and every trait in his character, every word he spoke, every action he performed, tends to show how lovely he was in himself, and how he loved us. Then,
Remember what he has done for us. Here we behold love so unmeasurable, and so unparalleled, that it “ knowledge:"
"This is a theme which elevates the soul
Meditate on the glories which he "had with his Father, before the foundation of the world." "I saw also," says Isaiah,* "the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim, each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, ' Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,' the whole earth is full of his glory." Such were the glories he possessed from eternity, such the honors paid him by angelic hosts. Yet behold him laying aside all these, descending from his throne, passing by angels, that he might take upon him our nature, and suffer and die for our sins. O what wondrous love was this, that the eternal Son of God should appear in the likeness of man! Well might angels burst the veil which obscures from our view the abodes of bliss, and fill the air with their melodies at his birth into our world! But where would you expect to find such a visitant? Assuredly in the palace of the king. Ah no! a manger was the only place that could be found, to accommodate incarnate Deity. Instead of being welcomed with delight, he had scarce appeared when a wicked king formed a design to kill him, so that his parents, "being warned of God in a dream," were compelled to fly with him into Egypt. When they returned, they went down with him to the despised town of Nazareth. There, he whom angels adored, was subject to his parents, and lived in seclusion for thirty years.
He then entered on his public ministry, yet not to be greeted with popular applause, nor to receive those honors which were his due; but to be "despised and rejected of men," to become
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." Although such was the benevolence of his heart, and such the love he
* The Evangelist John expressly says, that it was Christ's glory which he saw. For Jesus is equal in power and glory with the Father.-See John xii. 41.
VOL. VI. 3d SERIES.
bore to fallen man, that through the whole course of his public life," he went about doing good,"-healing the sick, opening the eyes of the blind, unstopping the ears of the deaf, unloosing the tongues of the dumb, causing " the lame man to leap as a hart," raising the dead to life, and turning sorrow into joy wherever he went; yet, strange to tell, his kindness was requited by scorn, contempt, reviling, persecution, and plotting for his life. And at last he was betrayed into the hands of his enemies, by one of his professed friends.
Who can depict the scene that followed! Behold him in the garden of Gethsemane, there witness his agonies, see him "sweat great drops of blood," and hear him pray, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me." Behold him seized, led away to the judgment hall, brought before Pilate, spit upon, mocked at, scourged, crowned with thorns, and at length led away to Calvary. See him nailed to the cross, conflicting with all the powers of darkness, and, under the hidings of his Father's face, hear him exclaim, " My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And while you gaze upon the wondrous scene, do you ask, "For whom did the Lord of Glory suffer this? Wonder, O heavens! and be astonished O earth! it was for guilty man! For those,
Who yet rebell'd
Against his goodness, and with purpose fix'd,
For these he suffered. And even in the agonies of death, his prayer for his murderers was, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
3. But consider what he is still doing, and behold an additional reason why you should love him. For though he expired on Calvary, and was laid in the tomb, yet on the third day he rose triumphantly, and having passed forty days on earth, "ascended to his Father and our Father, to his God and our God." There" on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty on high," he is still employed in seeking the welfare of our fallen race. "He appears in the presence of God continually," pleading the merits of his own blood, to expiate the sins of rebellious man, and by the sweet incense of his intercession, to bring down blessings on his people.