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USEFULNESS OF THE MAGAZINE. We have never received a communication which has afforded us more sincere delight than the following testimony from one of our female readers, who has affixed to it her real name and address, which for obvious reasons we refrain from giving. We have no greater joy than to hear of our children walking in the truth;
for whilst there are subordinate ends to be attained by the publication of the Youths' Magazine, we can only receive our full measure of satisfaction by the assurance that we are advancing the spiritual benefit of our young and interesting charge.
Eu. “ To the Committee of the Youths' Magazine. “ GENTLEMEN,–When I received your Magazine for the present month, the thought struck me— How many years have I been profiting by the lessons of these servants of the Redeemer without acknowledging the benefits I have received, or bidding them God speed! Yet I trust I have not been unmindful of them. If I have not thanked you, I have prayed that He who is the source of every good and perfect gift, would bless and reward you. I have also, to the best of my power, recommended your Magazine to others.
The volumes I possess are amongst my choicest earthly treasures, though they have not much to boast of in outward appearance; for, much as I valued them, I could not be selfishthey have given to many a young person a love of solid and useful reading; they have been the companions of the sick and dying, and many are the proofs I have had of their leading them to the Saviour.
“Your interesting Miscellany fell into my hands at a very critical period of my life. As a family, we had recently been reduced from comparative affluence, to earn our daily bread. With spirits depressed, and hearts seared by the desertion of those sunshine friends, who had of course forsaken us, we set about our task. I was then the oldest of five sisters, two of whom have since, I humbly trust, fallen asleep in Jesus. I wish I could find language to describe the many scenes in their lives, sickness, and death, in which your little work afforded them consolation, and support; but it is not of them I would now speak. “ I have before said I was the eldest of five sisters : this cir
cumstance, together with my being the manager of the business into which we now entered, gave me great influence; and I tremble to think what that influence might have been but for the grace of God. For several years, before any decided religious impression had been made upon any of our minds, your valued work was very useful in restraining in us the love of dress and pleasure. (I would here particularly mention the piece entitled * Economy,' in your volume for 1829 ;) but above all, in spreading the sunshine of benevolence and love over our social circle. For sixteen years it has been welcomed and read in our workroom; and who can estimate its effects on those who during that period have come and gone?
“I wish you could see the sparkling eye and glowing check with which one young person, who has been for the last nine months confined to her room, receives the loan of one of your volumes, I am sure you would be highly pleased.
“But not to weary you, I may say in conclusion, that in prosperity it has been a check upon us; in trial it has taught us not to despair, but courageously to do our duty. As Sabbath school teachers, it has furnished us with many sweet and holy lessons; as brethren and sisters, it has taught us to love one another, and bear with each other. As children, it has taught us to honor our parents; and as members of society, it has taught us that we have no right to live to ourselves.
“But I would not have you think, by any means, that we value it above the Word of God. I am sure you will rejoice to hear that it has been the means of leading us to love and study it, and has often helped us to understand it.
“Hoping you will not deem me presumptuous in addressing you; and with my best wishes for your success,
“I remain your grateful Servant, 12th Sept. 1845.
PROVERBS. It is always “term-time,” in the court of Conscience. Have not thy cloak to make when it begins to rain. He that scoffs at the crooked, had need go very upright himself. Your looking-glass will tell you what none of your friends will. Not the pain, but the cause, makes the martyr.
TEACHING FOR ETERNITY. The care of youth is an awful responsibility-one that cannot be too seriously regarded, and which should never be taken up lightly and with worldly indifference, as a resource against poverty, or as a means of acquiring a genteel subsistence. And yet thousands do so; while parents have too often date their children's departure from the way of truth from the period when they first entered school. In comparison with eternal life, what are the acquirements considered so essential in the education of an immortal being for its earthly sojourn? And yet to our brief and uncertain period upon earth, is the training of youth too often confined, while the never-dying soul is left in worse than heathen darkness. Who can wonder at the prevalence of impiety and indifference to religion, when the young are led to consider it as the least important duty in their education? A few brief hours on the Sabbath, a few hurried moments given to vain repetitions (for prayers they cannot be called), and a chapter carelessly glanced over, or partially listened to, while the hands and thoughts are oftentimes otherwise engaged ; and this comprises education for eternity!
What is meant by an education for the world ? Supposing the object a girl-her attitude, walk, and appearance, are among the first cares required; then follow days devoted to one unvarying round of study. She rises early, and her music occupies many hours of close practice; drawing and dancing lessons still further encroach upon her time; and the usual routine of education, with the acquirement of one or two languages, engross the remainder of the day. Is it surprising, when children are thus carefully trained for, and taught to look to, the world, that they should, when the age of childhood is past, become entirely devoted to its pursuits and requirements? Have you ever stood by the death-bed of one snatched from life in the midst of such an education as this?
Have you marked with sadness the terror excited by the thought of death, which comes as an object of surprize and dread to the young heart which has never been led to reflect upon its certainty ? Instead of feeling peace and joy in the thought of eternity, the poor child shrinks with fear and trembling from the prospect of another world, and clings with eager and futile hope
to living friends and relatives. But they can offer no consolation; and though they would fain crowd the business of a life into a few short hours, yet the endeavor is too often useless, for the senses of the sufferer, already impaired by pain, and agitated by terror, are unable to comprehend words which even at the eleventh hour would speak of salvation. And thus many have passed away, leaving no sign which might lead their sorrowing relatives to hope for their eternal happiness.
A young female relative was thus taken, her complaint was fever, and it came on so rapidly that she soon lost all speech and sign of consciousness; but previously to this, her terror lest she should die was very fearful to witness, and repeatedly she exclaimed, “ Do you think I shall die, dear mamma? I am 80 afraid I am in danger! Oh mamma, I hope I shall soon recover, for I do not wish to die yet.” These, and similar expressions were spoken with great agitation, and it required all a mother's love and influence to soothe her. At length she slept; but from that sleep she never woke again to speech or consciousness! Her fever rapidly augmented. fatal symptoms appeared, and on the day fortnight from her first attack she died ! For some hours previous to her departure it became evident that the closing scene was near, and her poor wearied mother sat by her side, talking to her of Jesus; repeating passages from scripture, and with broken voice and sobs entreating her child for some mark of consciousness. But the poor sufferer heeded her not, except to fix her large mournful eyes upon her mother's face, with an expression of suffering helplessness touching to witness; while low moans of pain, and the restless tossing of her shrunken hands, were all the signs of life she gave. Again the mother prayed in overwhelming agony, but apparently in vain ; and at length she was carried from the room lest her frantic grief should disturb the dying. It was not long after, that the soul of the young and almost-idolized girl departed.
I saw her on the day following her death; her features had then regained their usual sweet expression, and she looked beautiful in that last calm sleep. But as I gazed upon the body, so peaceful in its repose, and now freed from all suffering, I could not forget the spirit which once animated it. Whilst willing to hope all things, I had no foundation upon which to build a hope. The room in which she lay was considered her own apartment, and still contained her books and drawings, her embroidery half-finished, and many evidences of the existence of those accomplishments in which she already excelled; but there was no evidences of her christianity-no sign by which we might hope for her eternal happiness—no sweet memories connected with her name which told of her being a disciple of Jesus ! She had been the favored and almost idolized child of her earthly parents, but she left no hope that she was now become an heir of glory in her Father's kingdom.
Enquiries and Correspondence.
Coming to Christ. MY DEAR SIR,-I sincerely thank you for the kind interest you have taken in my case, and the advice you have given me. May I again trouble you? O that I could tell you my heart was renewed—but no, I feel this is not the case, and I desire to thank God that he did not give me up to the fatal delusion under which I once was, in this respect. But I feel I am not nearly so anxious about spiritual things as I ought to be, and as their importance requires. I do think I desire to see the heinousness and desert of sin, as God beholds it, but my mind is still dark in this respect, for although I feel I have “worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator,” and have not liked
to retain God in my knowledge,” yet I cannot from my heart feel myself deserving of eternal punishment. O for deeper conviction of sin, which is the work of the Spirit alone! Will you, dear Sir, enlighten my mind in reference to one particular difficulty I feel? It is this. I know I need a Saviour, and just such an one as the Gospel appears to me to present to the sinner,-one who can open my blind eyes, and subdue the depravity and enmity of my heart. Jesus says, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” “ Whosoever believeth in me shall not abide in darkness." “ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out." These promises seem to imply to my mind that in whatever state of darkness my mind may be, my first duty is to go to Christ just as I am, endeavoring to give up every thing displeasing to him, believing that if I trust him, I