« ForrigeFortsæt »
reign and princes decree justice. By his blessing human talents are wisely directed; religious means and ordinances become efficient; industry and application are crowned with success. "Godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come." All the godly have proved this by their living testimony and dying words. O! then acknowledge God in all your ways, seek first the kingdom of God, and all things else shall be added to you.
6. A godly man is a useful man; he serves God and his generation, and like his Divine Master, whose name he bears, goes about doing good. "He is gracious and full of compassion, and righteous: he hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour." The various societies that are now in operation afford ample scope for the exertions of the pious and benevolent. They afford work for all, from the child to the parent, from youth to age. Bible, Missionary and Tract Societies, Sunday schools and various other excellent institutions, may be said to exclaim, "Come over and help us!" And who would refuse to co-operate and aid in the great cause of God and truth. Not the godly; for the love of Christ constrains him, to assist by his influence, his property, his personal exertions, and his prayers. Ever blessed, he becomes a blessing by the wisdom of his instructions and the effects of his example. Godliness shines forth in him, at home and abroad, in the church and in the world. "We are really," said Philip Henry," that which we are relatively. It is not so much what we are at church, as what we are in our families." To be "always abounding in the work of the Lord," doing good and communicating, is the conduct of him who follows after godliness.
Let the young reader enquire if this be his desire, and if he be thus devoting every talent and every opportunity to promote the glory of God, and the best interests of his fellow mortals.
7. The end of the godly man is glorious; as he lived to the Lord, so he dies unto the Lord; and the record borne to him is, "The end of that man is peace." The achievements of military courage, the honours bestowed upon literary attainments, are nothing when compared with the unfading glory connected with a life of piety and devotion. The names of Cæsar and Alexander; Hannibal, and Scipio, are far less glorious than those of the noble
army of saints referred to in the Old and New Testaments, or even those lesser lights of modern times, Whitefield, Wesley, Romaine, Cecil, Hervey, Toplady, Wilks, and Hill, who having been the honoured instruments of turning many to righteousness, now shine as the stars, and will continue to shine for ever and ever. How blessed the man who fully supports the character of the godly! and how blessed they who are following his example, and treading in his steps. These are indeed the lights of the world, the benefactors of the human race, a terror to evil doers, and the praise of them that do well.
O, that every reader of this psalm may feel the importance, and know the blessedness of being amongst the number of the godly, following their faith, considering the end of their conversation, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; and partaking their inheritance amongst the saints in light!
Behold the man of righteousness,
His several steps attend;
True pleasure runs through all his ways,
A STORY FOR LITTLE PEOPLE.
WHEN Louisa Adams was a little girl of about eight years old, she was asked to pay a visit to her grandpapa and her aunt Sarah, who lived at a very pretty house not far from Exeter. She felt rather dull when first she arrived there, because she had no little brothers and sisters to play with; but in a short time she was able to find amusement for herself all day long in the pretty garden at the back of the house. Her grandpapa and her aunt were both extremely kind to her, but she was left very much to herself, for her grandpapa was not used to have children much with him, and her aunt Sarah was in great distress on account of the death of a sister which had taken place a short time before, and she liked to be a great deal alone.
There was one room in grandpapa's house of which Louisa was particularly fond, as it contained a very large and beautiful Indian cabinet, made of small pieces of ivory and of different coloured wood, joined together in such a manner as to form a beautiful
pattern. There was a great number of small drawers in it that seemed all to be filled with curiosities; some had the most beautiful shells you can imagine, neatly arranged in them; others contained a great variety of birds' eggs, and several were filled with curious old coins, which Louisa did not think remarkably pretty, but which she liked to look at, because her aunt told her so many interesting stories about the kings and queens whose heads were pictured on them. But perhaps, the drawer she most liked to be allowed to look at, was one which contained a number of stones which had been cut out and polished, and in which there were marks that you could not help fancying represented landscapes. There was one that she was quite sure (children are often
quite sure') had a picture of a wood near her papa's house, with a little stream running past it, and a little bridge across the stream, and this one she was never tired of looking at. There were many other beautiful things contained in this room, and it had a glass door which opened toward a lawn, surrounded with lovely flower beds; and she was allowed to go in and out through this glass door whenever she chose.
One day when she was in the parlour, looking at some of the pretty shells, her aunt Sarah came into the room with a small parcel in her hand, and looking very sad as if she had been crying very much. She was followed by Louisa's grandpapa, who was saying as he entered the room—
"Well, my love, we should be very thankful indeed, for such a treasure; but where will you keep it till it goes to Robinson's? Her aunt replied in a low voice, that she meant to put it in one of the top-drawers of the cabinet.
"But is there no fear of her?" said her grandpapa, nodding in the direction of Louisa.
"Oh, none in the world," her aunt answered, "she cannot reach so high, and, besides, she never looks in any of the drawers except the shell drawer;" and so saying, she deposited the packet in the very highest drawer, and left the room accompanied by her father.
When Louisa had done looking at the shells, she went out to play in the garden, and she soon began to wonder what it could be that her aunt seemed to value so highly, for, in general, she showed her all her pretty things; and then by degrees she went on thinking
about it, till her curiosity increased to such a degree, that she could think of nothing else. At length, she actually brought herself to believe, that as her aunt had never told her she was not to look in the top drawer of the cabinet, there would be nothing wrong in trying if she could not by standing on a chair, just peep in and try to make out what kind of a thing it was. She was a long time in persuading herself that there would be no harm in doing this, and on her way to the glass door she looked round the garden very carefully to see if any one was there who was likely to follow her into the house, but there was no one but the gardener, and he was diligently employed in gathering peas for dinner. Louisa might have known that her looking about so anxiously was a sign that all was not right, for when her aunt gave her leave to gather straw-. berries, she would not have cared if all the people in Exeter had seen her. Children may be always sure, that when they look to see whether they are quite alone, before they do a thing, that thing would be better left undone.
Well; Louisa entered the room, and was hasting to reach a chair to stand upon, when she saw perched on the back of her grandpapa's high-backed chair, an intruder she little expected. This was a tame hawk that was usually kept in another part of the house, but had now wandered here, and it fixed its keen bright eyes upon Louisa in such a way that she hastily put the chair she was lifting, back into its place, and ran into the garden as fast as she could. "That tiresome hawk!” she said, when she reached the other end of the garden; "if it had not been for its bright eyes, I should have known by this time what was in the parcel."
At dinner time she heard her grandpapa, ask her aunt whether she had sent it to Robinson's yet; and the answer was, that it was to go that evening; so Louisa determined while her grandpapa and aunt were out that afternoon, for she knew they were going to call on a friend, that she would make another effort to indulge her curiosity in spite of the hawk. She heard the hall door closed-she hastened to the room-the hawk was gone; and she mounted upon a chair and tried to open the drawer. But it was too firmly shut; she, however, pulled again and again, and at last, with a tremendous jerk, she not only opened it, but what she had little intention of doing, pulled it completely out, and losing all command of it, it fell upon the floor.
Almost at the same moment, the door opened, and her grandpapa and aunt Sarah entered, the latter hastily flew to a packet that lay on the ground, and eagerly opening the folds of paper that surrounded it, a thousand small fragments of something it had contained fell to the ground. Her grandpapa was excessively angry, and scolded her severely; while her aunt looked more distressed than angry; and Louisa felt that she would have given all she had in the world not to have made her sorry.
"You little know, Louisa, the mischief you have done," she quietly, but mournfully said; "that paper contained a miniature of your dear aunt Agnes, whom it has pleased God to take from us; we had no likeness of her, and a dear friend of hers said she would try to paint one from recollection. It has cost her many a laborious hour, and now this is all that remains," she said, shewing the miserable fragments to Louisa; "it is impossible she can do another, for she is just going to India, and she has saved time from her sleep for other things that she might be able to devote herself to this. She leaves Exeter to-morrow, and your grandpapa and I were just going to bid her good bye, and to thank her for her most precious gift, and now how can I face her?"
Louisa's tears now flowed bitterly, and she fully confessed to her aunt all that had passed through her mind about it; but when she had told her how the sight of the hawk's eye had deterred her for a time, her aunt reminded her that there was an Eye always upon her, so bright, that even the darkness is light to it, and so piercing, that it can see even the thoughts of the heart. "Oh, Louisa!" she said with evident feeling, "this grieves me more than all that you should forget, that wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, the eye of God is never turned away from you for a moment!"
"Oh! aunt," said Louisa, as soon as her sobs would permit her to speak, "how could I forget that? but indeed, indeed, if I had thought of it, I should have turned back the second time; but I thought of nothing but the hawk. Do you think God is very angry with me, aunt ?"
"The Bible," she replied, "passes a very severe sentence on all who forget God. By your own confession you have done so, and forgetting him leads to every other wickedness."
Louisa cried very much to think how naughty she had been;