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20. Examine yourself every day, whether you behave according to these rules.
The Reason.-For all these things are commanded by God, from whom no secrets are hid.
Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, when the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, and thou shalt say, I have had no pleasure in them.
Method of Examination. Say to yourself-Have I endeavoured as far as I am able cheerfully to obey all God's commands?
What have I done, which I ought not to have done?
What have I left undone, which it was my duty to do?
Do I remember what I have lately been reading in the Holy Bible ?
What have I done when alone, which I should be ashamed to have done if any one had seen me?
Have I not done to others what I would not have them do to me?
Have I been sorry for, and confessed my faults. Have I neglected my prayers.
Do I thank God for all things through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Have I this day taken God's holy name in vain ?
Do I constantly go to church, and do I consider well what I go for? Do I honour the King, as the Bible bids me.
(See 1st Epistle of Peter, Chap. 2.) So go on to the end of the rules, and then say, “O God, forgive me all my past sins, for Jesus Christ's sake; and help me, by thy Holy Spirit, to do thy will for the time to come.
A Father's Complaint against the Editor. MR. EDITOR, You have, I know, many letters in praise of your excellent publication,-but I am not going to add one to the number;-on the contrary, I have a se: vere accusation against you. You have turned one of my lads half wild :-he has plenty of business to attend to, but he must needs become a poet to be
He has often been repeating his poor verses to his brothers and me; and, at length, he sent them to you to put in your book. You kept them by you, it seems, for about half a year,-and my boy began then to think that you did not mean to put them in at all,--and then your book seemed marvellously dull to him, and he thought you had a very bad judgment ;--for all your poetry appeared much worse to him, than his own. At length, thinking, I suppose, to be very good natured to the young poet, you vamped up his verses, and printed them in the 66 Visitor.' I know that
left out some, and altered some, so that they looked pretty well in print; and to be sure, my young gentleman now begins to think of nothing but his “poetry !" I was once bitten in that way myself, when I was a boy ;-but, if I had not got cured of it, I verily believe I should have been in jail long before this time. And, now I have brought up a family respectably by, patient labour, instead of starving them by foolish poetry,—this young chap starts up and must needs be a poet. Pray, Sir, don't put any more of his verses in. Good poetry is all well, but moderate poetry is not to be endured. And there are plenty of poets already, who would afford you excellent matter, without spoiling my poor boy. I do not, however, despise other people's poetry, and you have given us a great deal that is excellent. I think you have generally steered
clear of that dull sort of poetry which we generally find in magazines and newspapers, and have given us what would be really useful, if written in prose, and what will, perhaps, I am willing to allow, be remembered all the better for being in verse. You understand me, Sir. Pray do not encourage young poets to try their hands in your book. We have enough of that already. I shall, notwithstanding all I have said, give you a couple of lines from a good poet, who seems to be describing a lad just like mine.
" A clerk foredoom'd bis father's soul to cross,
My God, Thy boundless love I praise,
How sweetly bloom below!
And o'er the earth they flow.
Tbeir genial drops distil.
And glides in ev'ry rill.
Whose sweets perfume the gale ;
And smile in ev'ry vale.
But in thy Gospel see it shine,
Proclaiming sins forgiven;
And opens all her heav'n.
And ardent gratitude:
My soul's eternal good.
With kindred energy :
Rev. H. Moore
SELECTIONS FROM DIFFERENT AUTHORS.
An action is called good, from the morality and nature of the action itself: so actions of justice and charity are, in themselves, good, whatsoever the doer of them may be; but actions are considered by God, with relation to him that does them, in another light ; his principles, ends, and motives, with all the other circumstances of his action, come into the ascount, for unless all these be good, let the action, in its own abstracted nature, be ever so good, it cannot render the doer acceptable in the sight of God.
Bp. Burnet. We should be as fearful to let in vain, as careful to keep out sinful thoughts :-Vain thoughts not only tend to sin, but are in themselves sinful, for that which makes sin to be sin, is the want of con. formity to the will of God; and that vain thoughts are not conformable and agreeable to the Divine will, appears, in that God, himself, by the mouth of his royal prophet, expressly saith, " I hate vain thoughts.” Psalm cxix. 113. Again, vain thoughts are therefore sinful, because they have in them nothing that can denominate them good ; for, as in a moral sense, there is never a particular individual act, so neither is there any particular thought, but what is either good or bad, in some respect or other. There is not a moment of our life, but it is our duty either to be thinking, or speaking, or doing, good; so that whensoever we are not thus employed, we come short of our duty, and by consequence are guilty of sin.
Beveridge. In the Bodleian Library, at Oxford, is a copy of the Epistles of St., Paul, which was Queen Eliza, beth's own book, and at the beginning are these words in her own hand-writing.-" I walk many times into the pleasant fields of the Holy Scripture, where I pluck up the goodlisome herbs of sentences by pruning; eat them by reading; chew: (digest) them by musing; and lay them up at length in the high seat of memory, by gathering thein together : that so having tasted their sweetness I may the less perceive the bitternesss of this miserable life.”
Amongst all the uncertainties of external and internal things, of this I am most certain, that the indulgence of evil passions produces more misery, than any outward circumstances, without that in. dulgence, could produce.
Order, how perfect! Harmony, how grand !
The vast stupendous scheme, and doubt the hand
That all its wonders, all its glories plann'd ?
That does not at the boundless scene expand,
J. B. Willyams.