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COMPASSION eternal, unbounded, and free,
How blessed, dear Saviour, are those who now see,
No more need they fear the dread frowns of thy face,
That Jesus has liv'd and has died to save me,
How ardent the love of the Saviour must be,
Help me, gracious Saviour, myself to deny,
ANECDOTES, SELECTIONS, AND GEMS.
Anecdotes, Selections, and Gems.
HITTING THE NAIL.-I once went to listen to the holding forth of a right reverend bishop, at the consecration of a church, when it came to pass that, instead of proclaiming the glad tidings of salvation, which might have served to the edifying of the church of Christ, the entire purpose, I was concerned to find, went to pull down the "house, hovel, or barn," of the hapless voluntaries, in order the more effectually to build up the cathedral. A learned induction of historical facts were searched out to demonstrate that the institution of diocesan episcopacy might be traced very nearly up to the days of the apostles. This reminded me of a transaction which I once witnessed. An unfledged carpenter was making some very industrious attempts at naildriving in the putting up of some sheep-pens in the public street. "Hit the nail on the head, boy!" said a passer by. "He does very nearly, sir," said the boy's master, kindly, as he commenced an exhibition of his own more certain tactics. Well, thought I, hitting the nail on the head "very nearly" will not send the nail home, according to my notion. And yet, some of our most deft and experienced hands who have busied themselves in church matters, while professing to hit the nail on the head, have succeeded in doing the thing only very nearly." There is one who will undertake to show that, in the affair of baptism, for instance, faith, repentance, and the answer of a good conscience, are not once to be mentioned, and that, by all means, the rite must be administered to subjects who are incapable of either, and, when you ask for the proof, they will row you along up the stream of church history, and then
set you down at the days of the apostles, " very nearly." Then comes another, or if you like, the same party, who would adopt the same course, in order to give you satisfaction that you certainly don't need to be "buried with Christ in baptism," as the sprinkling of a few drops "will do;" and here, again, you shall have evidence, such as it is, up to the epoch of those same days " very nearly." What if you could trace infant sprinkling up to the apostle's days, both very nearly and altogether, (which, however, has not yet been done by a good long inch) nevertheless, even then you would not hit the nail upon the head, except 66 very nearly." The apostles themselves inform you that even in their days "the mystery of iniquity was at work, and already there were many antichrists." But trace an institution, if you can, up to the authority of Christ and his apostles, and you hit the nail upon the head. But, again, without this, trace as you may, you hit it not at all; the most that can be said is that the thing has been accomplished " very nearly," and, saith the proverb of the ancients,
a miss is as good as a mile." Strange that the commodity called common sense shall have fair play in the driving, aye, and clenching too, of a paltry nail, while in the most important concerns it shall have no place! It will be much if those who are content with hitting the nail" very nearly" do not make the discovery that they have been bruising their own fingers, and the fingers of many besides. I, for one, shall take leave to dissent from all such proceedings, even in a bishop, whether in a cathedral or elsewhere; and whoever handles the hammer, my "humble petition
ANECDOTES, SELECTIONS, AND GEMS.
sheweth," let him hit the nail upon the head! not very nearly, but altogether, and he shall be a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. WE. L. AN UNHAPPY MARRIAGE.-The Fiddler. It is now about thirty years since a seceder from the national religious establishment commenced preaching in a small dissenting chapel in an agricultural district. He was much followed, and many were awakened. Among those regarded as changed characters, was a man who had been a livery servant, but was then married, and employed as a farmer's labourer. He and his wife were soon united to the church, and no one doubted the sincerity of either. When in service he had learned to play on the violin, and after his marriage had attended the village wakes with this instrument; this, of course, was discontinued, and it was refreshing to hear "the fiddler," for so he was frequently called, pour out his fervent petitions, while the big tears rapidly succeeded each other down his cheeks. His wife had horne him two or three children, when God saw fit to remove her, as it is hoped, to a better country. This was a severe trial to the poor man, but for a season he seemed to bear it with submission, till at length it was discovered that he was paying attentions to a young woman of disreputable character. His friends remonstrated, but in vain, for he was soon married to her. This was the commencement of his downhill course, for soon he became less frequent at the meetings for prayer, and then he would occasionally take a journey on the Lord's-day. His family increased, and as might be expected from the character of the mother, the children were of the lowest and rudest class. Soon the mother was afflicted with a cancer, and after suffering for a long period, she fell a victim
to that painful disease. Many were the trials of the surviving husband, and many were his friends, but still he wandered. At length, unable to provide for his family, he became an inmate of the work-house, where two of his children died. Here his conduct was so disorderly that the church thought it right to disown him; but even this produced no beneficial effect; on the contrary, he seemed to forget all his former friends, together with all his professions, and on his leaving the house, his fiddle was again called into requisition, and he is now seldom or never seen at the house of God, but frequently at fairs and other places of amusement, associated with the lowest of those who are lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. "The way of transgressors is hard" "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall." S
J. COMPLETENESS OF THE SAINT IN CHRIST.-It is a great consolation when weighed down beneath a sense of our own ignorance, weakness, sinfulness, and unworthiness, to think of that scripture, "Ye are complete in Him." It is a good text for the poor and ignorant, the despised and the afflicted. You may be in want of everything, but you are complete in Christ. You may be ignorant of everything the selfapproving world calls knowledge, but if you love Christ you are complete in Him. You may be despised of the world, and your name cast out as evil, but if you are a child of God the despite of the world cannot harm you; you are complete in Christ. Your friends may all be taken from you, or may all desert you, but you are not the less perfect for that; you are complete in Christ. Your property may take wings and fly, and you may have to beg your bread, or to suffer from hunger and destitution, but still you are complete in Christ; in Him you are
ANECDOTES, SELECTIONS, AND GEMS.
perfect and entire. You may lose your health, but He is your strength. Again, you may suffer by lingering and painful disease-may be helpless and bed-ridden, but still you are complete in Christ. If you be a child of God and stay yourself on Christ, nothing can take away from this completeness, nothing can diminish it. No; blessed be God, nothing! Nor can anything add to it. If you had all the wealth that is in the universe, it would not make you more than complete in Christ. If you possessed the thrones of Europe, or could sway the sceptres of the world, it would not add to your completeness in Christ. If you had the learning of Scaliger, and the genius of Milton, they could add nothing to the perfection of your character as a child of God - they could not make your robe whiter, or your glory brighter-they could not make you more complete in Christ. In Him, and not in the world, are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And ye are complete in Him. Let this be the saint's triumph and independence, that he is complete in Christ. Let him say within himself, as the gaudy shows of the world pass before him, "Well, after all, what matters it, though I be so poor and ignorant: in Christ I have all riches and knowledge. What matters who knows me here, or who knows me not-who cares for me here, or who despises me, if Christ deigns to know me: I am statistical complete in Christ, I care not for reports issued by the Registrar Geneanything else, I want nothing else, if ral, show that 59,025 deaths from Christ be made of God unto me wis-pulmonary consumption take place dom, and righteousness, and sanctifi- in England and Wales annually. tation, and redemption. Complete PREPONDERANCE OF FEMALES.
with all its wonderful blessings. He is our light and life, our health and wealth, our sun and shield, our rock and refuge, our everlasting and exceeding great reward. Let the christian go about the world singing continually, daily, and hourly, "complete in Christ! complete in Christ!"
hates, and almost the only thing SIN is the only thing which God
that man loves.
Oh Jesus, what hast thou not done!
We dishonour God greatly, and deny his nature, by not expecting great things from him.
God is nowhere to me, if he is not in my heart.
Facts and Hints.
VAIN EXPECTATIONS.-As one who attempts to carry water in a sieve or to catch the wind in a net, so is he who expects to find satisfaction and happiness in things of this world.
THE GOOD OLD TIMES.-1531,"Paid 14s. 8d.; the expence of bringing a heretic from London; and for one and a half load of wood to burn him, 2s; for gunpowder, Id.; a stake and staple, 8d." Records of the Corporation of Canterbury,
THE BIBLE.-In 1272, it required fifteen years' labour for a labouring man to obtain one single copy of the bible. One may now be had for ninepence; earned by a boy, or a girl, in a day. CONSUMPTION.-The
in Christ! O how transcendantly The last census, of June, 1841, delightful is the thought! There is shows the gross population in Great nothing in this wide world that we Britain of 18,664,761 persons, of need but Christ. We are perfectly whom 9,587,325 are females, and independent of the world in Christ. 9,077,436 are males. Having nothing, we then possess all things. In Him, and through Him, we have the glorious gospel,
THE BRITISH ARMY Costs annually £8,330,000, a sum larger than the whole taxation of Prussia.
THE FIRESIDE, OR POOR MAN'S FRIEND.
The Fireside, or Poor Man's Friend.
BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR.
by and witnessed this transaction,
who are fault-finding, censorious,
AMONG the pleasant things which are enjoyed here on earth, one of the most desirable is to have good neighbours. And there are but few annoyances more vexatious than those caused by neighbours world. Let us see how this plan would have worked. In the first place,it would have enraged the individual thus frustrated in his sordid undertaking. And the more fully conscious he was that he was in the wrong, the more would his malignity have been excited. We can better bear the injuries which others inflict upon us than the consciousness that it is our own dishonourable conduct which has involved us in difficulties. He immediately would have adopted retaliatory measures, and either have thrust his bar through the opposing wall, or have contrived some other scheme by which he might annoy his adversary. Provocations and retaliations would have ensued in rapid succession. A family feud would at once have been kindled, extending to the children as well as the parents, which probably would never have been extinguished.
A man wished to drain a marshy pool in his garden, and very impudently turned the water in under the fence of his neighbour's garden. The neighbour whose rights were thus invaded was a christian. He said nothing, but immediately employed a man to dig a trench and provide for the removal of the water. He greeted his neighbour, as he daily met him, with his accustomed cordiality, and was more careful than ever to set him the example of integrity and high-minded generosity. Whether the man who was guilty of this meanness ever felt ashamed of his conduct we cannot tell, but this we know, that the harmony which had existed between the two families was uninterrupted, and they lived side by side, year after year, in perfect peace.
Said another one, who lived near
As it was, the christian neighbour governed his conduct by the principles of the gospel. He submitted to the wrong; and probably, by submitting to it in the spirit which christianity enjoins, converted the event into a blessing to himself, his family, and his neighbour. He let alone strife before it was med. dled with. The harmony of the families was not disturbed. The occurrence was forgiven, and in a few days forgotten, and they lived years side by side in friendship, and prosperity, and perfect peace. Is it not better to follow the advice God gives than to surrender ourselves to the dominion of our passions?