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When they had finished this and some other hymns, which they sung with all their heart and strength ; and when the boys “had all made their bows together," and the girls had “all made their courtsies together," they were dismissed, and went out in great order.
In taking my pupils, Mr. Editor, to witness this interesting exhibition, I conceived it was directing their attention to one of the many signs of the times, which required no profound investigation of Scripture or of prophecy to understand. The sacred text may sometimes be of difficult interpretation, wrapt up in mystery, involved in symbols, either equivocal in themselves or in their explication by others.
But those living hieroglyphics by which the age is distinguished, need no learned interpreter; they are palpable to the eye of faith-Oh, how intelligent! and require neither the aid of knowledge or of eloquence to expound them. These are the babes and sucklings, out of whose lips, doubtless, praise is ordained to arise to the coming Messiah. They are among the various indications which announce the dawn of the millenium, when all shall know him even from the least to the greatest. Rachel may now refrain from weeping : the babes she lost at His first advent shall be renewed to her at His second; so that she shall say, “the place is too straight for me-lengthen the cords and strengthen the stakes !—Behold who hath begotten me these ?”
Let us congratulate those who are engaged in this delightful labour. I know it is its own reward. What work so sweet as that of bringing little children to Jesus ? What so pleasant as to go out and in among these little ones? Their guilelessness, artlessness, comparative innocence and purity, give us a foretaste of that which is native to the kingdom of heaven : if there be any thing gentle, simple, fair, lovely in human life, it is here : yes, there is
“One page of beauty in the life of man." 0, to become like a little child ! Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God,” Behold my dear young friends, the moral lineaments you must possess, before, like Nathanael, you can be pronounced Israelites indeed. The Holy Spirit can alone effect this mighty renovation in any of us; and is it not written in this beautiful text how we are to receive that precious gift? “If ye being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.” “ Ask and ye shall receive."
As we left the school-house, Henry took bold of my arm, and Edward running on before, turned round upon me the moment we got into the street, saying, “ Sir, when we return to Deerhurst, Mamma and Lucy shall have a school like that, and I can teach the little infants myself.” “ SHALL! dear Edward," said Henry, “I think you should consult mamma first."
“ I will,” said the zealous little fellow, and in the evening, his lessons were no sooner over, than he hastened, to his mamma's dressing room to tell her all his plans. The Lord God accept every one, though but a little child, who deviseth liberal things !
THE MOTHER'S PRAYERS.
Cast thy bread upon the waters, and after many days thou shalt find it.
How often has the truth of these words been illustrated, how often has the anxious parent, trembling, scarce hoping, cast his bread upon the waters, and after many days he has found it. Mrs. Hamerton watched with an anxious eye, the opening charms of her only son, fondly hoping that he would prove the comfort of his widowed mother. Early accustomed to a religious education, he long continued in a moral course of conduct, but he was a total stranger to the religion of the heart.
By degrees the respect he felt towards religion declined. He found an acquaintance with a young man, whose sentiments upon religious subjects coincided with Voltaire's ; at first the opinions expressed by his friend, shocked young Albert Hamerton, but by degrees these feelings of abhorrence gave way, the “ bon mots" of his companion were relished, though they were uttered at the expence of that book which he had always been taught to revere. The steadiness which had hitherto marked his character, was now no longer seen the dislike of religion which he had imbibed, too plainly manifested itself, and he was on the point of plunging into the vortex of infidelity. On the Sabbath indeed he was found in the sanctuary, but his appearance there was only the result of respect for his mother, to whom he was tenderly attached; the intere vals of worship were filled up with light conversation and trifling reading. At this time Albert was a stranger to peace. Often would that little monitor, which he vainly endeavoured to silence, whisper to him, that “ the end of these things is death."
His mother beheld this painful change with feelings that cannot be described ; many an earnest prayer—many an ardent supplication ascended on high, on behalf of this, her only child. After a little time, the public worship he had hitherto attended on the Sabbath, became wearisome, and at the advice of his friend, he entirely absented liimself from ithis mother's expostulations were useless, and her affectionate entreaties totally disregarded. One evening, in the beginning of summer, Albert was persuaded by his cousin, who was formerly his bosom friend (but whom he had not seen for some years), to accompany him to the house of the Lord ;
;-say what were the mother's feelings when she once more beheld her son take his accustomed place, that place which for so long a time had been empty ; she cast one look at him, the pearly tear stood in her eye, whilst she offered up a silent breathing to the God of heaven. A crimson hue tinged the cheek of the young man, which he tried in vain to suppress.
Whilst he was half repenting that he had listened to his cousin, the last ray of the departing sun burst through the opposite window, and shed a beautiful lustre on his mother's countenance; it arrested Albert's attention : " Ah,” thought he, “ thus will
mother's earthly career end, her sun will thus gloriously set.” At this moment a dark cloud passed over the beautiful luminary, and extinguished its expiring rays. The thought Aashed across his mind “My end will be thus sad, in darkness shall I go down to the grave, never more to rise : my sun will be quenched in the dark night of nothingness; but why, again thought he, should my mother expire in the full hope of a joyful resurrection, while a dark cloud hangs over my mind : if there be a futurity, how unhappy shall I be, and if there be not, still must my mother's despised religion be better than mine, as it VOL. II. 34 SERIES.
enables her to die with a cheering hope of a better world. Though that hope may be fallacious, yet it affords her more comfort than all my philosophical doubtings can possibly yield to me; and in a state of nothingness, the opinions. we hold when living will make no difference to us; therefore, upon my own principles, it must be better to be a Christian than an Infidel, since a Christian here has the most happiness."
Such were his musings. Far different thoughts occupied the mother's breast--the setting sun reminded her of that place, where there will be no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of the Lord will lighten it, and the Lamb will be the light thereof. The cloud that passed over the sun, was to her a resemblance of that anguish which would fill her mind (if indeed anguish could be felt in heaven), when she should see her Albert on the left hand of the Jadge. Once more she entreated at the footstool of mercy, that she might see him following in the footsteps of his deceased father, though even in the hour of death. Her prayer was heard! The considerations which had been excited in his mind by the setting sun, and the conversation of his cousin, were, through the blessing of a merciful God, made instrumental in producing a change in Albert as striking as the former. Mrs. Hamerton rejoiced over her son — - often did she express her gratitude to the Father of mercies, for the answer he had deigned to afford to her prayers ; but here pleasure is mixed with pain; ere the winds of autumn had strewed the earth with yellow leaves, and spoiled the trees of their foliage, she had the painful task of bidding him farewell, but not till he had given ample reason to hope that it was not for ever-not till he had furnished a pleasing testimony to the efficacy of a widow's believing prayers.
DAILY MAXIMS FOR MAY.
1 No trees bear fruit in Autumn unless they blossom in the
Spring. 2 Lament the wasted day,
*3 The word is likely to profit when we hear it as the voice
of Christ. 4 Practice increaseth knowledge. 5 Nothing is truly infamous but what is wicked. 6 A good conscience is to the soul what health is to the
body. 7 Leaders in sin are the worst of sinners. 8 Poverty wants some things, luxury many, but avarice
all things. 9 The virtue of prosperity is temperance. *10 Not gifts but grace makes the Christian, 11 They have the best knowledge who know their duty. 12 Of all poverty, that of the mind is the most deplorable. 13 Multitudes go to hell with their mouths full of good
wishes, 14 Jf our stock of knowledge is not increasing, it is wasting. 15 He only knows God aright, who knows how to obey
him. 16 He that sows iniquity shall reap-sorrow. *17 When the word of God is our lesson, the Spirit of God
must be our teacher. 18 Knowledge directeth practice. 19 The advantage of living consists in the right improve.
ment of time. 20 Sin is followed by shame. 21 The virtue of adversity is fortitude. 22 The joys of faith are the best remedies against the griefs
of sense. 23 An uncultivated mind, like unmanured ground, will soon
be overrun with weeds. *24 A humbling conviction of sin is the first step towards a
saving conversion from sin. 25 There can be no grace without knowledge. 26 We should do something to show that we have lived. 27 If you can be well without health you may be happy
without religion. 28 The young man may die quickly. 29 There may be much knowledge and no grace. 30 Heaven will make amends for all sufferings.