« 上一頁繼續 »
LETTER FROM FRANK HOMELY.
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, I HAVE often thought of that simple and affeeting declaration of our Saviour-" The poor have the Gospel preached unto them.” Although the goodness of God has placed me out of the reach of actual poverty, still, as I am a poor man's son, and have had a poor man's education, I feel that I have an interest in the text. I feel that I ought to be very grateful to our heavenly Father, that he hath revealed these things to babes like us. I am no scholar, Sir; but I have been told, that, in the days before the Gospel, there was no 'religion for the poor ; no religion which they could understand, by which they could live in peace, and die in hope. I have heard our good old rector say, that there never was a time without some religion—that man is inade to look upwards; and that, when he cannot see the one true God, he will worship false gods; but in those days the poor, if they worshipped at all, worshipped they knew not what. They had no God to whom they could pray, as to their common Father; no Saviour to whom they could fly for help and for comfort. What a blessed thing it is to the poor, that to them the Gospel is preached! In our own days, the rich and the great have in many places shewn themselves the poor man's friends: they have not only supplied his bodily wants with a liberal hand, but they have also provided for his instruction and improvement : they have taught him to read his Bible, and they have given him a Bible to read. There are some wants, however, which the rich cannot supply. There are sorrows of the heart which gold cannot heal. I -speak from experience; for my best days have been spent in the cottages of the poor. I know that many a tear flows in secret, which God alone can wipe away: that the poor man has his hours of doubt and perplexity, in which his Bible is his best counsellor, and God his only friend. Do not suppose that I undervalue the kindness of the charitable; if I did, I should be ungrateful and wicked; for I am indebted to a charity school for all I have learnt. I there first learnt to call God “ our Father;" it was there that the Book of Life was opened to me; it was there that “the Gospel was preached” to me. What I mean is, that our best friends on earth can only shew us the way; God alone can give us grace to walk therein; they may plant and water, but God alone can give the increase. In his trials and sorrows, (and many of them must fall to his lot,) the poor man must look to a stronger arm for support than that of his fellow man.
Surely it was truly merciful in the Almighty to make his will known to his creatures in such plain terms, that all who will may understand. As the Gospel was preached to the poor, its commandments and promises are simple, clear, and such as the poor can understand. I know there are difficulties in our religion, which our rector himself says he cannot perfectly explain; and he tells us that God has thought proper to leave these matters in darkness, that the wise and the learned may know that they are but men; and that God's ways are not to be searched out by them. But our good rector says, that what is most important, is declared most plainly, and that though there may be depths in our religion, in which an elephant might struggle, there are also shallows which a lamb may ford, I well, remember his saying this. I also remember his explanation : he said to us, "My dear children, ye are !
the lambs,;, the good Shepherd of your souls invites you to those brooks of living waters, which
will refresh and comfort you; leave the depths, the hidden things of our religion to God: he does not require of you to understand things which are too high for you; for what is his command, but to do justice, and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God ?"
If, Sir, you think this letter worthy of a place in your useful little book, (which we read in this village with pleasure, and I hope with some profit,) you will please' to insert it. I could say a great deal more as to the Gospel of the poor;" but I should fatigue you and your readers.
I am, Sir,
El.FORD. Vale, March 10th, 1824.
AMUSEMENTS OF CHILDREN..
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, From the frequent notice which you take of the National Society, it is very evident that you are friendly to the religious education of the young. Most of your respectable readers, also, are, no doubt, deeply interested in the same benevolent' design; and I can think of no better medium than your publication, for offering a few remarks to the intelligent well-wishers of the rising generation. The topic upon which I am about to address you, is one, on which it is as absurd nicely to refine, as it is injudicious authoritatively to command. Í allude to the recreations of boys; and however it may be unwise, on such points, to issue positive injunctions, the discreet endeavour to direct the juvenile taste, will well reward the pains of superintendence. There are some games which, in their very principle, di
rectly tend to counteract the most salutary lessons and admonitions. To little purpose will the tenth commandment be explained to that child who is accustomed to find his pleasure in such amusements as come under the term gambling. These games have seldom any thing to recommend them; and generally a great deal to make them objectionable. They seldom afford any healthful exercise to the youthful frame; and they familiarise boys with the spirit of gambling, and give them a fondness for that false and dangerous excitement of the mind, which leads to dreadful crimes, and great wretchedness. In the most abandoned and lowest neighbourhoods, I have found the description of sports, to which I advert, most intently pursued; and it was not long since I was told by a man in humble life, that he would not allow his son to join in them, as they taught boys cheating and swearing. I can readily believe his assertion; for, besides these diversions being introductions to the worst of company, they must also have a tendency to excite covetousness, and thus lead to “ cheating,' as well as tend to spoil the temper, and thus lead to “ swearing."
I own that, in and about crowded towns, there may be great difficulties in finding safe amusements for the young; but I conceive, that a little care might be the means of checking many and great evils.
I am, your's, &c.
2. 18th March, 1824.
LETTER FROM A FATHER TO HIS SON, AN
April 24th, 1824.
have seen, had a principal hand in that bloody deed, pretending to have a great desire to give liberty to the country, and to deliver it from the power of Kings. He soon, however, shewed how little he cared for the liberty of the people ; for he soon took upon himself a greater degree of power than any English Kings had ever exercised, though he was cunning enough to avoid the name of a King. He was, therefore, called Protector. He was, however, a bold and daring fellow, and had great success in his wars. He had a brave admiral, called Drake, and with his help he beat both the Dutch and the Spaniards at sea. It was in Cromwell's time too, that Admirals Pen and Venables took the Island of Jamaica in the West Indies, which still belongs to the English, and is considered a place of great importance to us, though the Admirals, who took it, instead of being thanked for their conquest, were sent prisoners to the Tower, because they did not do all that was expected of them. Cromwell likewise boldly attacked all those who opposed his Government, in Ireland, in Scotland, and at home.
But you perhaps wish to know what became of the eldest son of Charles the First all this time, who was, in truth, the real King of England. You may be sure that there were many people who would have been glad to have seen their true King on the Throne, instead of submitting to the power of one who had no right whatever to the Kingly power, and who had taken it only by main force and violence. Yes, there were many loyal subjects ; but, these were so terrified at the power of Cromwell, and the great army which he commanded, that none of them dared come forward in support of their young King. The Scotch, indeed, made an attempt, and they sent for him from Holland, where he was living for the sake of security. They were but badly prepared, however, to resist the