the direction of the committee of the Society: and eighty ministers have been assisted in defraying the expenses of their labours in destitute villages, each of whom preaches, regularly at from two to ten different places.

ANECDOTE OF BOERHAAVE. IT was the daily practice of this eminent physician, and no less distinguished Christian, through his whole life, as soon as he rose in the morning, which was generally very early, to retire one hour, for private prayer and meditation on some part of the Holy Scriptures. He often told his friends, when they asked how it was possible for him to go through so much labour and fatigue, “ that it was this practice, which gave him spirit and vigour in the business of the day.” This he therefore recommended as the best rule he could give; “ for nothing," he observed, “ would tend more to the health of the body, than the tranquillity of the mind ;” and he knew nothing which could support himself, or his fellow creatures, amidst the various evils and distresses of life, but a well grounded confidence in the Supreme Being, upon the principles of Christianity.

I do not recollect to have heard any person object to early rising as injurious to health ; but on the contrary, have heard many recommend it, while but few practice it. If one time is more particularly adapted to meditation than another, it is the morning. Then man has once more just “awaked to life,” and all is calm. “ Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.” The world is then more than ever shut out. But as the Christian is about to enter upon the duties of the day in which he is exposed to temptations, from without and from within, how much he needs to drink anew from the fountain of living waters, and hold converse with God !-and as he prizes this above any privilege, he will best enjoy it when the world is still. That person, whose “ eyes are locked in sleep" after “ the eyelids of the morning” are opened upon him, loses the most profitable season for devotion. This is the time more than any other, when there is “ nothing to disturb, molest, or make afraid. Who then, that regards his health, with which his usefulness to society is closely connected ; and who, that would not rush into the world, as the horse rusheth into battle, will not rise with the “rising light” of the new day, and like Boerhaave, give his best moments to God, in reading the Scriptures, and in prayer!

NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS. P's. reply to R. W. has been received, and shall be inserted. Thrce cominunications have also been received from Aduous, which, with all our regard to the feelings of the writer, we must refuse to publish. We cannot but think, that he is either very inattentive to his style and method of writing, or injudicious in estimating his own talents as a writer. We are always solicitous, and always grateful, to receive original communications, yet they must be, in our opinion, worthy to be inserted ; and we wish it to be remembered, that we are bound to regard the taste of the public as well as to watch over its morals and religion.

[merged small][graphic]

* Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer : preserve my

life from fear of the enemy. Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words.” Ps. Ixiv, 1, 3.

[blocks in formation]

THERE is a certain high import in conduct like this, which commands the admiration of sober minds. The spirit of it is so different from the maxims of the world, and the exhibition of it so rare among men, that its authors seem to be either angels who sojourn here and there on the earth, or, as indeed they are, men who sojourn ainong angels. There always has been, and still are, a few examples of those who act under the influence of that heavenly disposition that “ revileth not again.” There are some who seem to take little notice of the aspersions of the wicked and censorious, while they walk uninterruptedly on in the path of conscious duty, regarding more the preservation of their own integrity, and the complacency of the holy Being whom they serve, than the smiles or sneers of a capricious world. Methinks they pass through lite, as it were, on some moral highlanıl, above the region where the harpies of faishood and slander have power to prey upon the good man's vitals, where the wily stratagems and glittering allurements of satan transformed into an angel of light, cannot prevail over the influence of truth distinctly seen, and where the volumes of mingled scoff's and imprecations which the same deceiver breathes out after them, when his seductive attempts are foiled, rise not to obscure the sunshine of their blameless bosoms. So the traveller, whom a cloudless summer morning surprises on the inargin of some plain of the Cordilleras, looks down upon the ocean of mist that envelops the country below,-while the purity of his own atmosphere, and the golden brightness of his path, give him a light heart and an elastic step!

Human philosophy has often attempted to arrogate to itself the proud prerogative of giving to its disciples the only true magnanimity of soul. But we shall see that it is an inferior kind of greatness which it offers us, if we consider the principles on which it is formed. It is a kind of equanimity, attained either by setting at defiance all knowledge and mental refinement, and hardening the heart till it no longer feels the pain of inward relentings, nor bleeds at the rude contact of an ungenerous world, or by teaching the mind to wrap itself in the impervious folds of a conceited self-complacercy, and to look out with equal contempt upon the frowning or the flattering regard of others. The summit, therefore, to which philosophy alone promises to elevate man, is the listlessness of grovelling apathy, or of still more grovelling pride.

Far different from this want of natural sensibility, or this reckless feeling of scorn, is that independence the soul imbibes with the principles of christianity, which so effectually shields it from the envious thrusts of detraction, and lifts it above the surges of this world's malice. By an affectation of contempt, the philosopher attempts to brave the wanton attacks of falshood, ridicule and sarcasm, but the disciple, I mean the meek disciple of Jesus Christ, by turning to his adversary and baring before him his upright bosom, till the serene aspect of its spotless integrity, and the gentle eloquence of its weeping innocency, has overwhelmed him with deserved chagrin, or subdued him to feelings of kindness. The tranquillity of the philosopher results from bis endeavouring to feel an indifference to the influence of external accidents’and events, while the Christian, sensibly alive to every thing that concerns his character and moral influence among men, when persecuted and driven from the resources of his earthly enjoyment, flies to purer springs of consolation in heaven, and thence derives a peace which the world cannot take away. It may be seen therefore that the false magnanimity which unsanctified reason has given to men, to enable them to parry the weapons which the envy and spite of others may aim at their happiness, is but the art of crouching beneath the storms of life, with a resistance of spirit equal to their pitiless peltings ;and that religion, on the other hand, snatches her votaries from the midst of violence, and bears them away, where they forget the suf.

« 上一页继续 »