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1834.] PROFANATIONS OF THE SABBATH.
17 was only about a table spoonful, which I mixed with quite hot water, and that I found it good for my digestion, and helped me to sleep, as I was a bad sleeper ; and that I had gone on in this practice for the last ten years, and that I kept strictly to my small quantity. He told me he should advise me to try to do without it. It so happened that, soon after this conversation, I was obliged to be absent from home for a couple of months; and at a place where I could not very conveniently go on in my habit, so that, during that time, I went without my brandy. The first night or two I missed it, fancied Í did not digest my food quite so well; but in a short time, I felt my digestion and my sleep much better, and I have now wholly left off the practice, and sleep excellently well. I remember, J. S. said to me that so small a quantity might perhaps produce but little effect either for good or ill, but whatever difference it did make would be for ill; and I believe he spoke the very truth, as I have been much better since I have left it off.
ON SELLING PROVISIONS, AND OTHER PROFANATIONS OF
THE SABBATH. SIR,
Perhaps some of your readers may think that an unnecessary objection is raised against the “ selling of provisions” on the Sabbath day.- If so, I beg leave to direct their attention to the following passage from Nehemiah, (chap. xiii. 15 to 22 verse, where they will perceive that the profanation of the Sabbath in this manner, is highly displeasing in the sight of God :-"In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine-presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day : and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.—There dwelt men of Tyre also therein which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, what evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath day? Did not your fathers thus, and
did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath. And it came to pass that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath,
I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath; and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the Sabbath day. So the merchants and sellers of all kinds of ware lodged about Jerusalem once or twice. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, why lodge ye about the walls? If
do again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath day. Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy."
M. H. To our correspondent's quotation, we may add, that, though it is the Sabbath of the Jews which is here spoken of, yet the Old Testament and the New speak of the same God, and show us what is his will. Our blessed Saviour corrected the error of the Pharisees, who, in their zeal for the observance of Jewish ceremonies, kept strictly the outward forms of the Sabbath, but were careless of that which is the object of all religious observances,--to form the “ hidden man of the heart;” and he showed them that the duties of love and charity, and deeds of necessity were not to be neglected on the Sabbath day; but we do not find that the New Testament releases the Christian from his obligation to rest from his worldly labours and his worldly gains on the Sabbath day. The Apostles met for the observance of their weekly rest, on a different day from the Jews, but they seem to have devoted the first day very particularly to the worship and service of God. Let those who are called Christians, show that they are Christians, by going and doing likewise. V.
CIRCULATION OF CHEAP BOOKS. There has been an extraordinary number of cheap books of late published, and especially of those circulated in weekly and monthly numbers. There are many among
19 them very bad; and much alarm on this account has been with reason felt by those who wished well to the temporal and spiritual good of their fellow-creatures. The following extracts are taken from a speech made at the meeting of a literary society at Windsor, by Mr. Charles Knight, the Editor of the Penny Magazine. There is much in them that is cheering.
“I have from time to time collected all the various penny and twopenny publications published in London, on some one day. Such publications are in a perpetual state of change. New ones continually start up, and as continually disappear in a few weeks. About three weeks ago, I collected all that came out one Saturday; when bound together, they formed a thick volume.
An examination into the contents of these works is by no means unsatisfactory to those who are anxious to see the desire to read directed into proper channels. Out of forty or fifty of such works, a large number are instructive as well as amusing. Some indeed are frivolous, or exciting,-and a few are positively dangerous, scoffing at sacred things, and speaking against those institutions which are as need ful for the security of the labourer as the rich man.-But I will boldly state, what I can prove to be the consoling fact, that, taking all these cheap works together, those which are of a harmless or useful kind find twenty to one more purchasers than the bad books do. I have ascertained pretty correctly the comparative sale of almost every one of these works issued from the London press; and I can affirm that those circulated by societies for spreading religious or useful knowledge, find every week nearly half a million of purchasers: the penny sheets of ribaldry and impiety, with all their stimulating attractions to the depraved and inexperienced, at the utmost do not obtain more than thirty thousand purchasers. I conceive that this fact is highly honourable to my countrymen.”
THE UNKNOWN TONGUES. There does not appear in these times of the Christian Church, a necessity for the performance of miracles. We hear, indeed, of persons--and some whose piety we believe to be sincere—who consider themselves, by divine inspi
ration, in possession of the power of speaking unknown tongues. They believe that they “ speak as the Spirit giveth them utterance." But, we may fairly ask, for what purpose do they suppose that this gift is bestowed ? If we look to the miracles of the Gospel, and of the times of the Church immediately following, we shall always see the end for which they were designed, and that some benevolent and useful purpose is clearly intended. When the Apostles, on the day of Pentecost, spoke with tongues hitherto unknown to them, it was that they might“ make known to every nation under heaven the wonderful works of God.” If the modern professors of unknown tongues were to visit some far distant wild, hitherto untrodden by the foot of civilized man, and were enabled to speak to the poor benighted savage, and tell him of a Saviour and a Redeemer, in a language which that savage could understand, though the teachers had not before learned it, then would their gift be like that of the Apostles, and then we should believe that " God was with them." We must not, indeed, pretend to limit the infinite power of Almighty God, or presume to measure His intentions by rule (if I may so speak); but, if we may judge from all we have hitherto observed, our reason will tell us, that He has never passed over the bounds, which He has Himself set, in His spiritual government of the universe, without some wise and benevolent motive, which, for the most part, He permits to be visible to our senses and understanding, and in every point of view, whether of doctrine or of practice, we perceive our religion to be, as the Apostle terms it, “ a reasonable service."
a We have the written word of God before us, and that is profitable for salvation, if we will give diligent heed to it, and pray earnestly for God's Spirit to graft it in our hearts.
W. M. S. M.
SOLDIER OF CHRIST. MR. EDITOR, The following lines, written by an amiable friend of mine, will I hope find a place in the Cottager. I need not speak in their praise. But to me their beauty is enhanced by a knowledge of their author's character and
21 disposition, in which all that can adorn the Christian is displayed in most lively colours.
M. G. D.
Follow thy Master's call ;
And keep thee, lest thou fall.
And gird thine armour on;
Nor wish the world thine own.
And lift thy voice on high ;
Press on to Victory.
Nor lay thy weapons by;
And wield it valiantly.
Our prayers go with thee still,
And all thy converse fill.
God guide thee on thy way,
Through an eternal day.
THE SPANISH MULETEER. A TRAVELLER through Spain, thus describes the inhabitants :--The countenance of the Spaniard is noble, his stature tall, his walk erect, his deportment reserved and haughty, his manner of speaking is generally grave, but sometimes it is animated beyond expression.--The variety of dress among the Spaniards, is striking to a stranger, the inhabitants of different towns and provinces having a different dress, which sometimes also marks their different occupations. The peasants of Estremadura wear a red sash and carry a cloak over the left arm.-An inhabitant of the province of Andalusia will have his jacket and waistcoat ornamented with silk lace.—An ass driver of the town of Cordova will be clothed in a complete dress of the tawny brown leather of his province. You will see