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birth-day anniversary, if at no other time, an assize ought to be held by each of us in that inexorable court, from the decisions of which, severe as they are, it is well for us that there lies an appeal before the higher tribunal of Heaven. It behoves us, then, individually, to summon that witness to a closet examination in our own hearts, touching the occurrences of the year that is past, so far as we have been actors or sufferers in them; and though, while he has been present with us, feeling every pulse, and marking every breath, it may not have appeared to him, from one throb or aspiration to another, that any change was taking place, yet on the comparative retrospect of twelve months he can assuredly convince us, that if, like the earth, we have seemed to be at rest, like the earth also we have been carried forward in our course by a motion too rapid to be felt; while, not like her in an orbit revolving into itself, but in a line as level as the sunbeam, and darting as directly to its termination, we have been passing through unresisting space into unknown eternity. Here, then, let each take his stand, Iand think for himself-for himself alone-since no other man can do it for him, or do him any good with thinking-what he has been, what he is, and what he will be for ever, remembering that the first cannot be altered, the second is changing every instant, and the third depends on the issue of both.
A lady had written on a card, and placed in her garden-house on the top of an hour-glass, a beautifully simple stanza, from one of the
fugitive pieces of the Northamptonshire bard, John Clare: it was at that season of the year when flowers were in their highest glory:
"To think of summers yet to come, That I am not to see!
To think a weed is yet to bloom
The next morning she found the following lines pencilled on the back of the same card:
"To think, when heaven and earth are fled,
And times and seasons o'er; When all that can die shall be dead, That I must die no more! Ah! where will then my portion be? How shall I spend eternity ?" J. M.
RELIGIOUS CONVERSATION. THERE are two extremes in relation to this part of your duty, against each of which you should be on your guard. One is the error of supposing that you are to introduce religious conversation on all occasions, even with professed Christians, without respect to circumstances. Where persons of this description only are together, it ought certainly to be taken for granted that religious discourse may be safely and acceptably introduced; though, even in this case, the peculiar character and circumstances of the individuals with whom you converse ought to be taken into the account, in determining what particular direction the conversation shall receive. But where professors of religion happen to be casually thrown into the company of worldly and wicked men, though this is by no means to be admitted as a sufficient reason in all cases, or even in ordinary cases, for
even in respect to giving offence to worldly men who may be present, if the conversation is properly conducted, there is little ground for apprehension. In far the greater number of instances, no objection will be offered; and in very many, there will be marked attention and approbation. I remember to have known two professors of religion in a stage coach carry on a protracted conversation simply with a view to the benefit of a fellow-traveller, whom they did not think proper to approach in a more direct way; and the result was, that there was good reason to hope that the truth was permanently lodged, not only in his understanding, but in his heart. No doubt, while professed Christians are often deterred, by considerations of delicacy, from conversing on religious subjects in the presence of worldly men, they are exciting the surprise of those very individuals, that there is nothing in their conversation to indicate either the profession or spirit of piety.
their not communing together on the most important of all concerns, yet it no doubt does sometimes justify them in keeping silence; and if they were to attempt serious conversation, it would be nothing better than casting their pearls before swine. I have known instances in which professors in a public conveyance, and in a promiscuous company, have urged religious conversation manifestly to the injury of the cause they have wished to benefit; and their imprudent zeal has still carried them forward in a manner the most earnest and determined, while they were drawing insults upon themselves from every side, and, what was worse, bitter reproaches on their holy religion.
The other extreme is that of a false and apprehensive delicacy; an excessive fear of wounding even a fellow-professor by placing him under a kind of necessity to join in religious conversation; and much more of giving offence to men of the world, if the conversation happens to be in their presence. With respect to giving pain to any professed Christian by introducing a religious topic-I would say that, if he is susceptible of pain from such a cause, the sooner he feels it the better; for no more unequivocal evidence can be needed that, if he has ever felt the power of religion, it has greatly lost its influence over him. The fact that an individual has confessed Christ before the world, and thus assumed the badge of discipleship, is a sufficient warrant, so far as he is concerned, for addressing him on the subject of religion in any suitable circumstances. And
"LEAVES HAVE THEIR TIME TO FALL."
LEAVES have their time to fall, And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath,
And stars to set ;--but all,
Thou hast all seasons for thine own, O Death.
Day is for mortal care;
Eve for glad tidings round the joyous hearth,
Night for the dreams of sleep, the voice of prayer:
But all for thee, thou mightiest of the
principles, and from the court to the cottage there was no light in the dwelling. But God's set time arrived, the time to favour Zion, when His word, which breaketh the stony rock in pieces, came upon England, and it was said to her, as she lay in her gross darkness, Arise, shine!
From 1729 to 1732, small societies of praying young men were formed at Oxford-the two Wesleys and Hervey among them. These gradually increased, and preaching commenced. Whitfield followed; then came Venn, Romaine, Berridge, Doddridge, and Fletcher-some with much truth, some with little; more here, and less there; chaff with the wheat, and dross with the gold; but the Lord, scattering the one and refining the other, owned His word for the glory of His own name, and to make His mighty power to be known. These gracious men owed much, spiritually and morally, to the fostering love of Lady Huntingdon, who was raised up at that period as a mother in Israel, a woman who has never been exceeded in usefulness by her sex. It would be well if the desire of George III. was that of every bishop of the present day, when he said, "I wish there was a Lady Huntingdon in each diocese of my kingdom."
Such were the principal causes by which the Lord of the harvest gathered His wheat into the garner; and thus, by the raising up of under shepherds, did the Great Shepherd "revive His work in the midst of the days" of the last century.
It was by prayer-by the spirit of prayer dropped into the soul by the God of prayer, that the Revival
in America first commenced. 1857, that country was visited by commercial disasters, and in this wise it began:-In the upper Lecture-room of the old north Dutch church in New York, a solitary man was kneeling upon the floor engaged in earnest, importunate prayer. He was a man who lived very much in the lives of others-lived almost wholly for them-but he longed to become more useful, and to reach perishing sinners around he needed a thousand lives. The constant prayer of this man of God was, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" and the more he prayed the greater became his confidence that prayer would be answered. Then an hour for prayer was set apart, from twelve at noon until one, that men of business, who were in the habit of availing themselves of that hour for rest and refreshment, might attend. At first, only one solitary step was heard at the door,-then two-then three, until Jeremiah Calvin Lamphier writes, "We had a good meeting; the Lord was with us to bless us." Places of prayer multiplied-numbers increased sectarianism fell before union, and the little one became a thousand!
It spread through the mountains of Pennsylvania; the Spirit of God arrested sailors at sea; men in railway cars became converted; and thus it went on, until of America it was said, "What hath God wrought!"
In Ireland and Wales the work has been so recent it need not be dwelt upon. It was the day of God's power there, and not until the day of His appearing will it be known how extensively great that work was.
But the effects of these two periods of Revival were marvellously similar, showing that the same Spirit worked in both. That Satan took advantage of each occasion there can be no doubt, or that fanaticism and exaggeration found an entrance by the side of truth and soberness. But is there a day (so far as we know), "when the sons of God come to present themselves before the Lord, that Satan comes not also among them ?" (Job i. 6.)
The many remarkable instances of sudden conversion, connected with mental and bodily anguish, emanating, it is trusted and believed, with the large majority, from the manifested operations of the Spirit of God, and resulting in a settled peace within the soul, are too recent to be forgotten, and their hold upon our memory can only cease when that memory itself fails. But a few extracts from the journal of Whitfield are now given, to show in what a striking manner the effects of both Revivals correspond with each other:-"Words cannot express the glorious displays of Divine grace which we saw, and heard, and felt. All the congregation were so moved, that very few, if any, could refrain from crying out Some were wrought upon in a more instantaneous way than others; some in a more silent, others in a more violent manner....... Several little boys and girls, who were fond of sitting round me on the pulpit while I preached, and handing to me people's notes, though they were often pelted with eggs, dirt, &c., never once gave way; but on the contrary, every time I was struck,
turned up their little weeping eyes, and seemed to wish they could reIceive the blows for me. . . . . very great concern appeared among the people of Cambustang, with some circumstances very unusual among us; to wit, severe bodily agonies, outcryings, and faintings in the congregation .. Three of the little boys who were converted when I was last here, came to me and wept, and begged me to pray for and with them. A minister tells me that scarce one is fallen back who was awakened, either among old or young. Persons from all parts flocked to see, and many from many parts went home convinced and converted unto God. A brae, or hill, near the manse at Cambustang, seemed to be formed by Providence for containing a large congregation. People sat unwearied till two in the morning to hear sermons, disregarding the weather. You could scarce walk a yard but you must tread upon some, either rejoicing in God for mercies received, or crying out for more. Thousands and thousands have I seen, before it was possible to catch it by sympathy, melted down under the word and power of God. At the celebration of the holy communion their joy was so great, that at the desire of many, both ministers and people, in imitation of Hezekiah's passover, they had, a month or two after, a second; which was a general rendezvous of the people of God. The communion-table was in the field; three tents at proper distances, all surrounded by a multitude of hearers, above twenty ministers (among whom was good old Mr.