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The love of dress became her snare, her former neatness was thrown aside, to make way for the most gaudy attire and expensive apparel.
Some kind ladies who regarded Mary's welfare, ventured to point out her folly, and impress upon her the importance of attending to the “ hidden man of the heart," assuring her that a meek and lowly spirit was in the sight of God of great price. But Mary was resolved to have her own way, and as you may suppose, one false step led to another, till at last she gave up all regard to religion-all concern about her soul. Like the man in the garden, she had found a curious stone-one that so pleased her fancy and absorbed her mind, that she threw away the watch--that which was valuable and important—that which alone could rightly regulate her actions, curb her desires, elevate the soul, afford peace in life, joy in affliction, hope in death, and bliss beyond the skies !
There was formerly a scholar in our Sunday school proverbial for his punctuality, the pleasure that he felt in the school, and affection toward his kind teacher. Those Christian friends who managed the school anticipated that James, as he was called, would one day become a pious and diligent Sunday school teacher ; but, their anticipations were not well founded; for since he left his father's roof, to become an apprentice in London, he has formed acquaintance with companions, who fear not God. The Sabbath school is relinquished; the house of God is forsaken; prayer is neglected; and his Bible, that was once his constant companion, is now laid upon the shelf, while the follies and vanities of the world, are the only things upon which his thoughts are bestowed. And why all this change? you enquire. Why? Because James has “picked up a curious, and deceptive stone;" and he is so pleased with it, that he has thrown away the watch, the true measurer of time, and the monitor of his actions, into the river of forgetfulness.
But it may be that many who are constant readers of the Youths' Magazine feel very great delight in it, and long for the first day of the month, when the new number shall appear, and when they have read it, exclaim, “O how I love this or that paper!” May we ask then, “why do you love it?" You reply, perhaps, “because it sets forth the love of Christ to guilty sin
ners.” Are you then among those who love the Saviour? are you one of the lambs of Christ's fold? If so, you also have found a stone; but unlike the others, it is that true philosopher's stone which turns all into gold.
But probably some of my young friends are so much taken up with the trifles and follies this world, as to be altogether unconcerned about the “one thing needful.” You have some curious stone that absorbs your affections, but you have no thought, no concern to possess the "pearl of great price.” There have been, who have sold all to possess this treasure. Do you desire to be rich, wise, and happy? Then throw away the pebble of false pleasure, the trifles of the day, and seek to possess the watch--that blessing which " teaches us to number our days, so that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Winslow.
THE WRATH OF MAN MADE USEFUL. When in 1756, Mrs. Howard died, her widower, the philanthropic John Howard, repaired to the Continent. The chief object he had in view when he left England was to see the ruins of Lisbon, which had recently been desolated by a tremendous earthquake. In this, however, he was frustrated, the vessel in which he sailed having been captured, so that his second visit to France was in the capacity of a war-prisoner. This incident, regarded no doubt as a serious inconvenience by Howard at the time it happened, may be said to have contained the germ of his future greatness. It was the key-note of his subsequent history. For to the privations he then personally endured, and witnessed in the case of others, we are at liberty to ascribe the peculiar form, or rather the precise direction, which his benevolence took. Had the ship in which John Howard set sail for Lisbon been allowed to reach its destination, that field of suffering which he afterwards so successfully explored, might still have been left neglected, and the fate of thousands of prisoners of every class, from his time to ours, been rendered far more severe than what through his enterprising benevolence it happily has been. “Thanks to the enemy that captured that ship!” may not Europe, aye, the world say? As soon as he was set at liberty he prepared a memorial, in which he detailed the privations which he and others had endured, and laid it before the proper authorities. To their honor it should be told, the document was received with courtesy and gratitude, and its immediate effect was to mitigate in no small degree the rigorous treatment of war-prisoners.-Hogg's Weekly Instructor.
THE PEARL, AND THE WAY TO GET IT. If the diver for pearls were to perform his task reluctantly, the very reluctance would prevent success. He could not descend to the ocean depth ; or if he could, when there, he would be unable to take, or even to see, the precious treasure. Sullenness would remove all spring from his body, and all power from his eye. But in his work he finds an inspiration. He knows that he must reach the pearl through a path in which to tarry, or even to breathe, would be to die. But it is the way to the pearl, and the pearl is of great price. The means are relieved by the end, and the path by the object. His will is his power to take the prize. God assures us that good is at the end of sorrow : and Hebids us go through the tribulation to reach the benefit. The benefit is only visible to the eager eye, and can only be taken by the outstretched hand. The eye is closed by reluctance, and by the same influence the hand hangs down.-Martin's Discourses to Youth.
Enquiries and Correspondence.
Music. M. G. enquires, “Is it lawful to listen to the skilful execution of what is commonly called 'profane music?!”
Anna asks, " Is the study and practice of secular music, compatible with a profession of religion ?"
No music is in itself either secular or profane. Many of our popular tunes, originally adapted to absurd or immoral words, have been redeemed from this disgrace, and employed as accompaniments to sacred song. If the words, or the spirit of any kind of music be nonsensical, or inconsistent with sound morality, no christian should, of course, sanction it, even by silently listening to, much less by joining in it.
We refer our correspondents to page 64 of our last, and p. 35 of our present volumes.
How shall I proceed ? What part of the word of God do you think most applicable to a young person who begins to feel his need of a Saviour, and who wishes to be made fully sensible of his sinful condition before God; to repent of his sins, and to find peace and forgiveness in the blood of Jesus Christ; and to have the full assurance in faith, that, whether living or dying, he is safe for eternity?
An Anxious ENQUIRER.
There are so many parts of the Bible applicable to the above case, that it is difficult to mention any particular section. The New Testament is eminently adapted to meet the above query, especially our Saviour's Discourses, and the Epistle of Paul to the Romans. The latter is a complete system of Christian Theology. It shews clearly that every man is, by fallen nature, corrupt, depraved, and guilty, (Chap. i. ii. iii.) That salvation is attainable, not by the works of the law, but by the merits and atonement of Christ. (iii. 20, &c., iv. v.) In chap. vii. St. Paul states his own experience of these things, and the source of his consolation; and in chap. viii, the believer's high privileges. Comfort and consolation flow through the channel of instruction. A general sanctified knowledge of the Holy Scriptures will make us wise unto salvation, through faith, that is in Christ Jesus. The following texts are submitted to the serious contemplation of the “ Anxious Inquirer.”
Romans iii. 23-24. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus.
Luke xxiv. 47. That repentance and remission of sins, should be preached, in His name, among all nations.
John iii. 36. He that believeth on the Son of God, hath everlasting life.
Matt. xi. 28. Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
John vi. 37. Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.
May the Lord, by His Spirit, guide the Inquirer unto all truth! Assurance is the result of faith in the person and work of Christ; hence called “ the full assurance of faith,” or the assurance that faith produces.
Saul and David, A youthful reader of your much esteemed Youths' Magazine would be glad, if any of your correspondents would be so kind as to reconcile 1 Sam. xvi. 21, with 1 Sam. xvii. 58. In the last named text, it appears, that Saul did not know David; and yet, in the former, it is said, that David stood before Saul, and he loved him greatly. H.W.
Saul does not express himself to be ignorant of David's person, but of his parentage,
“ Whose son is this stripling?” It appears, however, that he knew something of his father ; (1 Sam. xvi. 18-19.) but this was before David's encounter with Goliath ; and he might either have forgotten the circumstance, or have required more authentic and official information on the point. As Saul was now bound in some public manner to befriend or exalt David for his service to the state, it was but natural that he should wish to know more about him and his family.
Speaking as a fool. SIR,—I shall feel obliged, if your correspondent, R. C. of Penryn, whose frequent communications are perused with much pleasure, would favor me, through the medium of your pages, with an explanation of the meaning of the apostle Paul, when he used the words, “I speak foolishly. I speak as a fool.” 2 Cor. xi. 21, 23.
Your's very respectfully, J. S. S.
To understand the apostle's meaning the whole of the context must be considered. When he says, “ I speak as a fool," he refers evidently to the charges and insinuations which had been made respecting him by those who wished to supplant him in the apostolic office. He enters, therefore, upon a vindication of his