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The following reflections are intended to act on the minds and hearts of those who are very busy by day, and very weary at eventide. Every Christian must descend from Tabor and its bright radiance into the low level of every-day life. We need more religion in such circumstances, and less theology. We require not arid dogmas, however orthodox, but warm joys — sustaining strength — cheering hopes, and inspiring expectations. We need also direction, guidance, encouragement. What so powerful a check to evil, or so comforting an assurance of peace, as a sense of a presence that encourages us in the paths of righteousness, and encompasses us with a ceaseless defence ? True spiritual religion will enter into every relation, transaction, toil; and not only regulate them, but give energy of heart and strength of hand to fulfil them. Instead of crushing by stern law, it attracts by beautiful example. It 1 *
keeps us free from the sour asceticism that caricatures the world and corrodes the temper; and no less so does it remind us of the enthralment of indulgence, and the danger of pampering the mind. It enjoins temperance, moderation, forbearance; and these are elements of strength. In sorrow, which enters, sooner or later, every heart - in sickness, or at seventy-in bereavements, and vexatious trials, and bitter disappointments, which are the shadows on the dial of daily life, we need the sweet sunshine of the blessed gospel. The perfect character would be a composite of Martha and Mary the industry, and hospitality, and domestic management, that never wearied; and the piety, and teachableness, and love, and lowliness of heart, that sat at the feet of Jesus, and drank in the truths of everlasting life.
To many a Martha these pages may give warning of being overanxious about many things, and that "one thing is needful;" and to many a Mary, that the highest spirituality is not incompatible with an active and laborious life. The apostles retired from Calvary, and Gethsemane, and the garden of Arimathea, to their accustomed labors on the sea, and Jesus met them there and blessed them. Daily life may be richly charged with divine life, and the air and hopes and joys of eternity inspire and invigorate the toils and trials of time. Prayer and praise and thanksgiving are not peculiar to the Sunday; they are for every-day living. May we so pass through the things that are seen and temporal, that we finally lose not those things that are unseen and eternal. May the daily life of time merge in
. the sabbath life of eternity, and this little work be as useful in the age that now is, as it will be useless in the age to come.