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friend with her meek blue eyes, then dropping behind would
yes, it is God who inspires your mother's prayers on your behalf, every emotion of tenderness that thrills through her bosom towards her offspring, every sentiment of kindness that warms the heart of your friend is pat there by God. It is God who has watched over you from infancy, provided for you a mother's tenderness, a friend's rogard, while many equally deserving have been orphans from their birth, destitute alike of the kindness of kindred or asquaintance, the fond love of a mother, or the sweet affection of a friend."
Mrs. Neville, in the course of our walk home, added much good advice and salutary counsel to her dear little auditors, who received her admonitions with great sweetness of spirit; exhibiting no symptoms either of impatience or languor, or a desire for any subject or any other pursuit at that moment. While I myself, from the pious and judicious conversation of nx excellent friend during this sweet evening's walk, was led to think of you, my dear children, and in my own mind purposed to ask you a few questions, which I conceived to be quite as suitable and applicable in your case as in that of those young ladies. Have any of you then, my beloved young friends, ever asked your own hearts that question which Mrs. Neville addressed to Elizabeth and Emma, “ what shall I render to this great and good God for all he has done for me? Have you ever thought of him as your Saviour, as well as your Creator? and from what you have known of him yourself, could you speak of him to others? Could you say to those who knew him not, “ O taste, and see how good and gracious is the Lord ?" Could you say to the poor and needy,“ the young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not lack any good?” Could you say to the distressed, “ the Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble, and he knoweth them that trust in him?" Could you say to the afflicted, tossed and not comforted, " trust in the Lord for ever, pour out your heart before him.” Or could you say to the persecuted and oppressed, whom the men of the world oppress,
“ he has been,” and ever will be, a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall?” But, my children, if you cannot do all this, or any of this, yet surely you can praise him by a thankful heart. God loves a thankful spirit. It is true we can give him nothing but what is his own; yet we may acknowledge his gifts, and praise him for bestowing them.
But perhaps there are none placed in circumstances so peculiar, as not to be able to benefit some individual within the circle of their neighbourhood or acquaintance, and who might not if they had first a willing mind, find some method of evincing their love to God. “ The old woman,” said Mrs. Neville, “ who dwelt in this cottage was poor. She could do but little for God, or for the church, or for the world. She could not build an hospital, or endow an alms-house; but she could, out of love to Him, bring up a poor little girl in the fear of the Lord, and teach her to love, venerate, and obey Him.”
Look around, my young readers, and see what you can do. It is with delight I address you as my readers. I hope we have met together before, but if not, may we often meet together again. To you, and such as you, I have desired, through grace, to consecrate years that are past, and those that may yet remain; I have no higher wish than to be spent in the same sweet service. Look around then, and see what you can do! Is there no child you can teach, no aged person you can assist, no poor you can relieve, no sick you can visit, no mourner you can comfort, no little naked urchin you can clothe? You have received good from many, have you ever tried to render good again? And especially have you ever endeavoured to render to God a thank-offering of praise and gratitude, speaking good of his name?
Our evening's walk has introduced you to two or three strangers you never heard of before. Let our conversation benefit you. The little girl of whom I have spoken, though in humble life, may teach you a noble lesson. Whether you refleot on her own conduct, or on the providence of God exhibited in her life. Poor Mary never knew the delight of lise tening at evening to a father's returning footstep, or to leap with joy on hearing it, or to hang on the hand that caressed her. But she had a Father in heaven, and was not forsaken. She had never been folded to a mother's bosom, nor listened to the melody of a mother's voice; yet a father's care, and a mos ther's love, with all the nameless tendernesses wrapt up in them, and in their ineffable affection, were provided for her, by Him who has all hearts in his hands--who hath given unto each of us all we possess and all we enjoy here, with the hopes of a joy pure, fair, and blessed, beyond all we can conceive or think of, hereafter. Let us then render unto Him the glory of his gifts, and praise him wath his own.-
« Source of all perfect gifts ! ah ! who shall lay
THE RETROSPECT FOR NEW YEAR'S DAY.
" Seasons, and months, and weeks, and days,
By morning light and evening shade.” « According to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, what hath God wrought ?” Numbers xxii. 23.
AND why not of Britain, our beloved country? Why not of the Lord's people in Britain, fur whom God hath done such excellent things? If we have hitherto been forgetful of His great mercies, let the present season recal His goodness to our recollection, that we may say, What hath God wroughit!
There are circumstances connected with the history of England which call for our gratitude. The introduction of Christianity is of this description. Under God, it changed the aspect of our island, and the character of its inhabitants, once rude, savage, and idolatrous. While some authors affirm that St. Paul preached the gospel here, it is asserted that some soldiers who accompanied the successors of Julius Cæsar to this island
had heard that apostle at Rome, and privately worshipped the true God on the very spot where the cathedral church of Canterbury now stands. This event was long before the arrival of Augustine the monk, sent over by Pope Gregory.
Nor must we omit the bestowment of Magna Charta, obtained by the barons of England from King Jobn, a. D. 1215. This has been frequently styled the Great Bulwark of British Liberty, and contains, amongst other inestimable privileges, that which is the boast of Englishmen, “ Trial by Jury."
The blessed reformation from popery in 1530, is another important era. Long had the cries of Christians ascended to God: many had been their efforts to restore primitive religion; but what they failed to accomplish, God effected in His own way, and by an instrument altogether unlikely to accomplish such a work; I mean Henry VIII. and yet, although he meant not so, he destroyed the papal power. It is impossible to read the account connected with this event, and not exclaim, “What hath God wrought!”
Let us next consider the wonderful preservations we have experienced. In the year 1588, Philip, King of Spain, fitted out an immense fleet of one hundred and thirty ships and fifty thousand men for the conquest of England. This was proudly styled, " the Invincible Armada.” Its approach towards the English coast filled the whole nation with alarm, and it is said that some persons actually died through fear. The blessing of God upon the plans and valour of the British adınirals deprived this “ Invincible Armada" of its power. Many ships were taken by the English. A storm overtook them at Flamborough-head, by which they were terribly shattered. Seventeen ships, with five thousand men on board, were afterwards wrecked, and of the whole armada, only fifty-three vessels returned to Spain. Medals were struck to commemorate this great event, and the 19th November was appointed as a day of public thanksgiving for this great deliverance, of which it might be said. “ What hath God wrought!"
The discovery of what is usually called the Gunpowder Plot, is another incitement to gratitude. The intention of the conspirators was to destroy the king and both houses of parliament, by means of a train of gunpowder placed under the
VOL. 11. 34 SERIES,
parliament house. This design was most providentially defeated, in consequence of a letter sent by Sir Henry Percy, one of the conspirators, to his friend Lord Mounteagle; and on November 5, 1605, the whole was developed, and the conspirators detected.
Nor is the abdication of James II. to be forgotten. This was the third attempt against the Protestant religion which was mercifully overruled by Him,
“ Who builds and guards the British throne." The arrival of William III. Nov. 5, 1688, at Brixholme, in Torbay, and his subsequent accession to the throne, secured the rights and privileges of the English nation, and established the principles of the reformation upon a basis firm and secure. Such remarkable deliverances lead us to exclaim,
« What hath God wrought!"
Let us now pass on to those encouraging events connected with the history of the Christian Church in this country. The rise of the apostolic Whitefield and Wesley * in 1738, was a new era in Christianity. Their abundant labours, their zcal, their success, the congregations planted by their exertions, and the influence of their preaching both in and out of the Establishment, are contemplated, even at this distance of time, with admiration and delight.
The commencement of Sunday Schools in 1781, or 1782, is another remarkable event, as leading the way to all the modern efforts of christian usefulness.
The institution of the London Missionary Society in 1795, is another favorable event. The interest excited at that period, not only in the metropolis, but throughout the country in general, was only equalled by the spirit of unity and love that were diffused. It brought together the Episcopalian, the Dissenter, the Wesleyan, the Presbyterian, the Seceder, and introduced a kindly feeling among them, which, blessed be God, exists even at this day. Four years afterwards (1799) was formed the Tract Society, and in five years more (1804) the British and Foreign Bible Society! It is impossible to
* The Rer. George Whitefield was born 1714, and died 1770, aged 56. The Rev. John Wesley was born 1703, and died 1791, aged 88.